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Interviews

"For maybe the first time this season we have all players available, which is positive"

Thomas Frank ahead of tomorrow's visit from Newcastle United

26 February 2022

There was big news to come out of Thomas Frank's pre-Newcastle United press conference with Christian Eriksen set to be involved for the first time since joining last month. Watch that, and the other major talking points from Thomas' media call below.

Christian Eriksen in line for debut …

He will be in the squad, and he will get on the pitch to make his debut tomorrow. It’s a big day for all of us but especially Christian and his family. For everyone involved in football that saw what happened, it’s another of these reminders that we are privileged to do what we do and we need to appreciate every moment.

Team News …

For maybe the first time this season we have all players available, which is positive. That also means Ivan Toney will be involved in the squad tomorrow. That’s a huge positive going into the final part of the season. We know the Premier League is a marathon; we had a very good start and now we are coming into the end of the race with a fully-fit squad, and that is fantastic. It’s up to me to find the right balance and put the best players on the pitch to make everything click.

Josh Dasilva …

[Arsenal] was his first start so, like Christian Eriksen, if they have been out for a while, they need a few games to get going to their max. I wouldn’t put him in there if I didn’t think he could provide something. With his pure abilities and qualities, he has a quite unique skillset for a midfielder. Hopefully we can put him into the right situations tomorrow.  

Turning this run around …

If you get into a run of games with the top six clubs close together, you just need a bad performance against one or two of the other teams and you are suddenly in a run of no wins. That’s one thing but we also have to look at ourselves and think, ‘Could we have done better?’ For me, Southampton away was the standout game in the recent run of games that we haven’t won. Wolverhampton Wanderers and Crystal Palace were good performances that should have given us more and, of course, Manchester United. Then we could have had three or four points more and people would be saying that we were doing fine. It’s such a tight margin.

Saturday’s approach …

The way we have been approaching the league has been one game at a time. I think that massive focus gave us the opportunity to get three points against Manchester United. There was a reason we didn’t do it, but we put the performance in there. It gave us the opportunity to get a 0-0 at The Etihad despite all the injuries we had. It also gave us the opportunity to get other points elsewhere in this run of bad results. It’s exactly the same for this game; our approach needs to be front-footed, brave, and aggressive in every aspect of the game. I’m convinced if we put a performance in like that it will turn around with wins. I’m aware that Newcastle are just around us but if we go into this game, or the next game, with a different approach that’s going to be messy.

Newcastle United …

I see a team that have progressed quite a lot. They look like a very difficult team to beat which is a good strength. They have pace and power all over the pitch. The last three games, against Everton, Aston Villa, and West Ham have been very close games in terms of chances, both ways, but they still managed to get two wins and a draw, which is a huge quality. I expect a close, tight game tomorrow and it will be the smallest of margins that will decide it. Eddie Howe has done a very good job with his coaching staff, and they are in a very good place.


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