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Interviews

"We need to be even more on it and our fans need to be ever more on it"

Thomas Frank previews Norwich City

6 November 2021

Thomas Frank wants fans and players together to create an intimidating atmosphere for Norwich City when they head to the Brentford Community Stadium later this afternoon. Listen to what The Bees boss has been saying in the build-up to the game below.

The latest Team News …

Kristoffer Ajer has a hamstring injury that will keep him out. I don’t know exactly how long but it will be a fair amount of weeks. We are probably speaking about the mid to end of December or start of January. In these cases, I like to be surprised so let’s say until January and then hope for a miracle.

Yoane Wissa and Shandon Baptiste are still out.

If everything goes well tomorrow, Bryan Mbeumo should be OK to start.

Thomas on bouncing back from three league defeats …

I believe in trying to do the same whether we are winning or losing. I think, over time, that gives us the best performances and the most points. If you look into every game then there was a good performance against Chelsea, a good performance against Leicester City, a good performance against Stoke City, and then, hopefully, a one-off first-half against Burnley. That happens sometimes and we came back in the second-half. I am pleased with three of those performances and, if we can keep that high performance on Saturday, we will be fine.

Thomas on Premier League lessons …

When you have never been there you need to experience it. I expected that the quality and intensity would be crazy high. Now we have experienced that, we can see there is high quality and big intensity. The big thing for us is that we need to be on our absolute a-game every single time to get something. In the Championship you could maybe be a 7 out of 10 and get three points. That is unlikely in the Premier League.

Thomas on this week’s training …

So far, I am very pleased with the performances. I have just come from the Training Ground where we’ve had a fantastic session in terms of very good focus and intensity. They train very hard every single day and that is what has brought us to this point. Hopefully that is the thing that can keep pushing and developing us. One parameter we know we have to be bang on is the physical part of it because we don’t have the quality of Chelsea or Leicester. I am pleased that we are very fit and every game so far this season, on the parameters we measure on, we have done better. That is a thing we need to check every time to get something out of these games.  

Thomas on preparing for Norwich …

We need to go out there and be brave, play forward, and be positive. I understand that Norwich are not in a bracket of Liverpool, Chelsea, or Arsenal but it is going to be another difficult game in a different way. We faced Norwich City twice last year; we drew 1-1 at home and then lost 1-0 away. They were the best team in the Championship last season. I know we have done better this season but their last four games, Everton, Burnley, Brighton, and Leeds, were totally even on numbers. Maybe they deserved a bit more than they got. We need to be bang on it and perform very well in a very even game.

It is first about how we defend. It is extremely important to keep our aggression and intensity in the pressure; that is going to be key. Then it is about our quality in the final third and trying to open Norwich up because everyone knows it is not that easy to open a back five.

Thomas on Daniel Farke …

He’s done a fantastic job. The season they got promoted, they struggled a tiny bit in the first couple of games and then found that consistency and style of play and were unstoppable from there. I have never managed to win against Norwich, I am very aware that we have a big task ahead of us. Very few teams get relegated and then get up again by winning the Championship. You can get into these bad spells in the Premier League. They would have hoped for more points and maybe they deserve more points than they have right now. Another big quality that Daniel, his coaching staff, and Norwich City have is that they are calm. They are consistent in what they do and have a clear strategy. That is why I think they will have a very good chance to still do well in the Premier League.

Thomas on Saman Ghoddos …

Saman is a very good player and brings us some extra offensive quality in terms of the slide pass, crosses, and arriving in the box. That is what I like to see from him. For quite a long time now he’s got the basics right in terms of pressing with intensity and where he needs to be on the defensive part of it. I always know he can bring something offensively to the team but for me it is hitting that high level consistently to give us as much as possible in every game.

Thomas on Saturday’s expectations …

I understand the expectation from everyone outside is that we will win. It is my job to put things in perspective. The reality is that the level between the two teams is so tight, it is all about the day. They will run their socks off and do everything they can, like we will do, to win the game. We had a very even game here against Brighton, which maybe we deserved to win, and I watched the Brighton vs Norwich game which was a very even game and finished 0-0. I understand the narrative and I am pleased because it means we have done well and put good performances in. The reality is that every game in this league is going to be unbelievably difficult.  

Thomas on the fans’ role on Saturday …

We have a big task ahead of us to hit a top performance, but I also think our fans have a big task in front of them. I love that we are on it against Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal. We proved that when we do it together, the team and the fans together, we can have some unique performances and get points against some of the biggest clubs in the world. If you were a bookmaker and putting money on which games we should get points out of, it is not Liverpool, Chelsea, or Arsenal, it’s Norwich City and teams like that. We need to be even more on it and our fans need to be ever more on it. If we want to make this a fortress, and a hostile environment, it needs to be every single game. It can’t only be the nice performances against the big clubs.


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