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Thomas Talks… Wow moment and (almost) complete performance

Report from the post-match written press conference after West Ham win

11 April 2022

Brentford completed a Premier League double over West Ham United and made it four wins in their last five matches with a 2-0 victory on a sunny spring afternoon yesterday, Sunday 10 April. Bryan Mbeumo and Ivan Toney set up goals for each other as The Bees picked up three points against their East London opponents. The Bees fully deserved the points, which they added to three secured in a 2-1 victory over the same opponents earlier in the season, as they continued their winning run.

The Bees had the better of a first half that ended 0-0 and took control after the break. Mbeumo scored just after half time and ended a swift counter-attack with a volleyed cross that Toney headed in for the second. After the game, Thomas Frank spoke to the Premier League's broadcast partners before a written press conference. Jim Levack, who has covered Brentford for many years for Press Association, among others, reports on what he had to say..........

Performance or win?

“I’m more happy with the performance than the win. Of course I know they’re linked because you're only really happy if you put a top performance in and then get the win, but I think this was close to being a complete performance. It was the first time this season in the Premier League where we more or less controlled the game from minute one to minute 90.

“Getting up to their half and the final third and keeping the ball to win 2-0 against a very good side like West Ham who are competing for the semi-finals of the Europa League, the top four in the Premier League and restricting them to five shots in the whole game ­– that’s a wow for me.”

Quality off the ball…

“I'm not saying West Ham didn't have the ball or didn't have a shot, but in terms of how we defended high in terms of pressing and how we defended low around our box we were especially on it against them.”

… and fantastic on it

“We’ve done well throughout the season but we found fantastic positions in the build-up that we’ve worked on. We were very disciplined with quality and composure in the build that helped us progress.”

Keep on partying

Thomas was asked, for the umpteenth time, why the Brentford fans partied so hard at the final whistle.

He said: “If you’d been to all our games, we celebrate every single win like this because if you’re a newly promoted side with the lowest budget then I think you need to celebrate your win every single week. When you get more used to winning you maybe forget and take it for granted that it’s just a win in the Premier League, but I think there's only a few teams that can do that. Some in the top six sometimes want to celebrate a little bit more and should celebrate more. So we celebrate, we’re pleased for 24 hours and then focus on next game.”

Bryan Mbeumo’s mental strength

“This season especially he’s been very mentally strong. In games you sometimes have to bounce back or stay in the game because you might miss a chance and then get another five minutes later, and you need to be mentally ready for that. He didn't have his best game in the first half but he scored a brilliant goal and had an even better assist after half time. He could have scored another one from a good chance so I was very pleased with him.”

Hitting high levels

“I really admire what David Moyes and his coaching team have done this season so to be able to do what we did to them means we obviously hit a very high level and a very good performance.”

The magic triangle

“We played with confidence, big discipline to the game plan and a big determination. If you can do that then then there's a good chance you could do well.”

“We tried to do that all season. It was easy in the beginning, a little bit more difficult when we had our bad spell but – and I know it's something I keep saying but I really mean it – if you can focus on the next game, the next training session and end as high as possible that helps massively.”

Zanka the talker 

“He has come in and he’s a very experienced player and very good communicator, so that was a very good substitution to be able to put in the in the middle of the defence so I was quite calm because he’s such a great communicator.

“I was very impressed. He’s been out with a long injury and It's not easy just to step in to a Premier League game and be ready and available. But he showed his level, class and also big experience.”

Finding solidity

“Defensive solidity was a big focus from the beginning of season and throughout the season. We started extremely well in terms of that defensive mindset and good structure and I think the last four games we’re coming back to that and doing very well.”

Top two’s numbers

“Over a season the statistics always go up and down with players’ performances, and some are able to keep it as high as possible and that's why they’re some of the best in the world. But the numbers Bryan and Ivan are producing are very, very impressive.

“I'm really pleased Bryan got his goal. He needed that little extra confidence so you finish with a little bit more of an edge. In the first half he had a bad connection twice and the third time he was in a good position but was a little bit too slow to make the action, but he made it very quick but his first touch finish for the goal will help him go on from here.”

Showing how far we’ve come

“I feel very proud because the West Ham performance was in some ways maybe even more complete than the Chelsea one. That was obviously a bigger result against a better team, but the way we played against West Ham shows just how far we've come.

“The main reason behind our upturn in form has been all about being consistent, staying with our strategy, structure and everything we've been doing.

“They’re the biggest reasons and then when you win and you add a little bit of confidence, and you run harder to arrive in the box or you're really disciplined then I think that's the big secret – which is no secret.”

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