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Thomas Talks… Fantastic Fernández and high blocks

Report from the post-match written press conference after Everton win

29 November 2021

A first half penalty from Ivan Toney was enough for give Brentford a win over Everton yesterday. After the game, Thomas Frank spoke to the written press via a video call. Jim Levack, who has covered Brentford for many years for Press Association, among others, reports on what Thomas had to say..........

First thoughts

“I was very pleased with the result. It was a massive win, a big, big, big win. I think we played a very good first half and we deserved to go in front. In the second half Everton were a bit more on the ball without really hurting us.”

Perspective

“I would have loved us to be even more on the ball but just to put things into perspective, we are newly promoted club, playing against Everton who have invested heavily in the last three or four years with a big aim to go into the top eight and play Champions League football.”

Balancing out

“We won 1-0 in an even game that could have been a draw and there could also have been a winner… and this time it was us. There’s been plenty of times this season where we could have won but we only got a draw.”

Being unbreakable

“We got back to the strong defensive mindset we’ve had the whole season, but especially in the first six or seven games. The last three games we conceded too many chances and goals so there was a big focus on still being aggressive and pressing high. In this game when we were lower and middle, that block in the 5-3-2 needs to be unbreakable. And they were that against Everton.”

Injuries

“I think we've been very unlucky with injuries this season. I had to sub off three players that I didn't want to sub off during the game. So that makes it even more of a massive win. Christian (Norgaard) has a minor back issue and should be ready for and available [for the game against Tottenham Hotspur] on Thursday. Rico (Henry) and Sergi (Canós) both had knocks and couldn't carry on, but I expect them to be ready for Spurs.”

Unbeatable Álvaro

“He really stepped into the Premier League and made two big saves when we needed them. The keeper is a crucial position in any team, and we are missing one of the best in the division through injury in David Raya, so they are some big shoes he had to step into.

"Naturally Álvaro is growing into the role and he pulled off two massive saves – the first on Rondón at a crucial moment and the Iwobi shot second half is not a big chance but it's through lot of bodies and it’s quick, so it’s a big safe and we’re very pleased with his performance.”

Defensive platform

“I think the Everton win is up there as one of the biggest wins. The first one against Arsenal speaks for itself but we’ve actually deserved more in some of those games where we haven’t won. If you want to do well in any league in the world you need to defend well, and we got back to that top level defending because all the top teams need to do that. So that was so important and as a result we got the massive win that we can build on.”

Goode? Very good

“I think he defended well, was strong in duels, composed on the ball and you know it's not easy just to step in and play in the Premier League, so he deserves some praise.”

Home win

“Our home can be a very difficult place to come and play and finally we got that home win that we've been searching for. fighting very hard for so it was a fantastic atmosphere and especially in the end. So for various reasons. It was a big win for us.”

Penalty king

“He wins almost every duel, takes care of the ball and is very important for us as a big presence on the pitch, but he is also the world's best penalty taker. He proved it again against Jordan Pickford who is a good keeper in terms of saving penalties. You need to have a strong and very composed personality and enjoy that pressure and Ivan is just bang on there. But if you want to be good at something and maintain the level, you need to practice it and Ivan is practising in that area – Every. Single. Day. That's why he’s good.”

Higher block

“I always prefer to defend high up the pitch but that was unfortunately not possible for whatever reason – we’ll need to look back at that – for the last 20 minutes or so. But what I'm very pleased with was that it was still very difficult for Everton to create something in these moments when we had a low compact block that forced them on the outside. I'm very pleased with how we defended because in the Premier League you need to be able to do that and we did it very well, but I prefer us to go even more, aggressively forward.”

Playing out

“I’m pleased we managed to do that a lot more effectively in the first half especially. That little extra confidence every player needs along with a new keeper coming means it will take time, but we were composed and played out nicely so I'm so pleased we managed to do that because it’s an area we constantly try to improve and do better in.”

Spurs ready

“I'm only have one aim and that’s to try to get three points. We have three days and that’s more than enough. We'll be fresh and ready for that game.”


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