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"There will be some percentages we gain from having fans in there"

Thomas Frank previews our Championship Play-Off Second Leg

22 May 2021

Brentford Head Coach Thomas Frank previews this afternoon's Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg as we look to turn around a one-goal deficit against AFC Bournemouth.

Thomas on squad news ...

Everyone is fit [from Monday’s game]; everyone is energised and ready. We can’t wait; it is like Christmas eve. I am extremely tempted to start [Rico Henry and Henrik Dalsgaard] because they are two of our best players. Are they fit enough, are they ready enough, are they 100 per cent match fit? That is the big question I need to answer myself.

Thomas on last year's lessons ...

It is going to help us. You are a tiny bit calmer; you know what you are facing and you know what it is all about. We also know that we can turn this around. We have a good feeling and a good experience around it. We know that it is going to be difficult as Bournemouth have the slight advantage. I am sure if this was a normal game and one team was 1-0 up at half-time, the Bookmakers would make them slight favourites to win the game. The way I see it is that with the fans and everything, this is a 50/50 game. We will come with everything and leave everything out there. We believe and hope that will be enough. We know that we can go to the final, we did that last year. The experience will give us calmness and a belief. We know that we are a good team; we have done well this year and we will come with that.

Thomas on the return of fans ...

The fans will be crucial. We are going into a game which will come down to the fine, fine margins. Some of the fine margins will be our fantastic fans who will constantly push us forward and be behind us during the game. They will make it louder than it has ever been before to help us over the line. You have seen in the FA Cup Final and in some of the Danish Superliga games where there are a small number of fans in the ground but an incredible sound. That is what we need. We need to top perform tomorrow and our fans need to top perform tomorrow. There will be some percentages we will gain from having fans in there.

Thomas on first leg lessons ...

There are small tactical twists that we will try to reinforce and bits we will try to avoid but the two most important things are to win the next moment in the game and have a cool head. It will be very emotional and very stressful so the team that is the coolest the most minutes in the match will have the best chance of going through. We all learned a bit from the first game like Bournemouth learned a bit from the first game.

The main thing is to be better taking care of the ball throughout the game to put more pressure on them. We got better as the game went on in the second-half. The team that can play with the highest intensity tomorrow will have the biggest chance of going through. I hope we can do that.  

Thomas on dealing with the occasion ...

The closer we can get to only thinking about the football side of things, not the occasion, the better we will perform. I am not in doubt of that. You do get a bit more from the players in terms of aggressive pressing with occasions like this so it is about hitting that perfect level where you are able to see things clearly and be in the zone throughout the game. That is what we are looking to do tomorrow.

Thomas on mentality in the group ...

The atmosphere in this group is extremely good. There’s that confidence but also humility. We are aware of a tough task ahead of us. We know we need to play a football match and do it very well to go through. The more we can think about the different tasks during the game is what will take us over the line. That is what they have shown they are capable of doing throughout the season. AFC Bournemouth are a very good side; we know it is going to be down to the fine margins.

Thomas on Ivan Toney ...

You need your big players to perform in these games and he is one of those players we hope will hit a top level in this game. He wants to be there, he wants to perform, and he wants to be the big player that is there in the crucial moment. We need everyone to hit a seven/eight out of ten performance tomorrow with a few to be bang up there in terms of decisive moments and actions on the day.

Tomorrow's game is exclusively live on Sky Sports.

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