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"I believe we can go and get something if we hit a high performance level"

The Boss' pre-Wolves thoughts

18 September 2021

Our consistent performances so far this campaign give Thomas Frank belief that we can take the points when we head to Molineux this afternoon. The Bees boss expects a very tough game against Bruno Lage's men but has seen enough in our outings so far to suggest we have enough to deal with the challenge. Watch Thomas' pre-match media conference in full below.

Thomas on team selection …

Everyone that was available for Brighton is available for Wolves.

Thomas on the trip to Molineux …

We are going to Wolves who are a very good side and are well established in the Premier League. I faced them as an Assistant Manager four years ago and I thought they were brilliant under Nuno. Bruno Lage has kept the momentum going. They only have one win from four but, for me, looking through the four matches, they were closer to winning two of the three matches than losing them. Against Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester United, all top six teams I would say, they performed very well and were very unlucky. They are massive favourites but we believe in ourselves. I believe that we can go and get something if we hit a high performance level. We have been very consistent in our performances so far. That makes me believe that we can continue to do some great stuff.  

Thomas on Wolves …

Defensively we need to be good; we need to press well, low and high. Wolves’ biggest threat for me is their half and big transitions with the massive pace of Traore, Trincao, and Jimenez. Their two midfielders are fantastic on the ball. Those transitions are where we need to be bang on if we want to get anything from the game.  

Thomas on Adama Traore …

He is a headache for every team and manager they’ve faced so far. Everyone has tried to find a way to stop him. He’s had one or two big chances in each game and has provided chances for other players. He is the key player to close down. I remember playing against him in the Championship and he has developed a lot in the recent years. We will not change shape but we are aware and will try to twist it.  

Thomas on attacking options …

When you are a going into the Premier League as a promoted team with the lowest budget, a bit under number 19, the most difficult thing to train and add to your team is the offensive quality. I believe that we have offensive quality in the team; I have massive belief in our two strikers, Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo. I think they look brilliant together and I believe much more will come from them. They are learning every single day. I also believe in Yoane Wissa we have a player who will only grow into it after we bought him this summer. I believe we have other players in the team who can add that offensive bit as well.

At this moment in time we would like to play with three at the back so then it is for me to decide if we play with three midfielders or two midfielders and three attackers. That is the balance I try to find. Then it’s for [Yoane] to force his way in between Bryan and Ivan. We all know we need to have more than 11 good players; we need to have players who can step in when needed.

Thomas on bouncing back from Brighton defeat ...

The big thing for me was that we performed well. If we hadn’t performed well then I’d want a big response. We performed well and lost in the last minute which can happen in the Premier League. I expect that we will go out and do the same as we have done before which is perform well.

It hurts to lose. I don’t know if it hurts more or less when you haven’t lost for a while but it always hurts a bit more when it’s a last-minute winner. If they had chance after chance after chance then it hurts but you can live better with it. Here it was a clear draw and, if there should have been a narrow winner, it should have been us. We learn, we move on and have the 24 hour rule so that is ages ago. We are looking forward to the game tomorrow.

Thomas on our away gameplan …

We always want to try to win the game although maybe sometimes it doesn’t look like that. We were bold and brave against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa. We played forward and we pressed high which is how we want to do it. We know there will be spells where we have to defend our own box well with 11 players. However, we prefer to be as high as possible, trying to attack with an offensive minded, defensive strategy.

It’s the combination of having enough offensive players on the pitch, with the right abilities, that connect well enough. It’s that combination we need to nail. We are going to Wolves; we know it is going to be a difficult away game. They have performed well offensively so how offensive do we want to go. We want to go offensive but how much is the balance we need to get right.

I try to speak as much as possible about being brave and taking the ball forward. We have the balance because we don’t try and just defend the box, we try to be as high as possible and win the ball to give us opportunities. In the established play we need to find a bit more quality on the ball to be bigger threats in behind.  

Thomas on Bryan Mbeumo …

I think Bryan has been one of our top three performers over the four games. He is constantly a threat going in behind, constantly arriving in the box, and always alive. He is only 22 years and I think his first goal is just waiting for him. I think Ivan was the provider three times last time out and it was the same against Aston Villa but that is the types they are. Normally it would be Bryan providing with his pace going in behind but I think they link up well around the box. Ivan is a fantastic link-up player and he sees the game very quick. He has the weight of pass ability in him and has shown that a lot of times. If it is very close in the final third then I want Ivan in the box as he is a fantastic finisher but in a more open game if makes sense for him to be the link up player.

Bryan is scoring more and more goals in training and he is getting into the right positions. We are trying to train more and more individually with him when there is time for that. He has all the qualities to score goals and he has shown that on a consistent basis. If you have been a consistent goalscorer in the Championship you can take that into the Premier League, maybe not with as high a number, but you can always take it in there.  

Thomas on reaching 150 games in charge …

It’s a big milestone. I’ve enjoyed every minute and I am privileged to be here not only for the 150 games as a head coach but also my time before that. I’ve enjoyed every minute. I have a fantastic group of players and staff. We have a bright future ahead of us.

Thomas on belonging in the top flight …

It feels good to be here to be fair. We would like to hang around here for a while. It is pleasing that we’ve performed well four games into this season but it is only four games. We need to constantly perform at this level. We are hungry and have unbelievable determination to show that we belong here. We need to show that hunger and determination for a long time and we need to work on that every single day.

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