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Thomas Talks… Double injury delight and believing in rarities

Report from the post-match written press conference after Cup loss

7 February 2022

Brentford’s Emirates FA Cup journey was ended by Everton at the Fourth Round stage. The Bees were beaten 4-1 on a wet and wild afternoon on Merseyside, conceding three second half goals. 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 he had to say..........

Raya sunshine

“It was so good to see David Raya out there again. He played a good game but it’s also worth knowing that him playing was part of a planned investment from my side, so when he is at his normal standards and high level I’m 100 per cent certain he’d have avoided the 2-0 goal as he’d have been higher in his starting position. But in general it was a solid performance.”

Being patient

“Seeing Josh Dasilva back out there made me smile. There was a situation where he took care of the ball and played it on the outside to Kristoffer Ajer and almost got us in behind. It just made me smile because we’ve lacked that quality Josh has. So that's good, it’s a first step but there are quite a few more steps before he will be at his top level. But it was a good first step.”

Giving everything

“I actually think we looked very energetic, especially in the first half. We pressed high, aggressively and with intensity. So I'm pleased with the first half performance, especially off the ball. On the ball was the bit we lacked in general throughout the game and we need to be better at taking care of the ball. But in terms of running and fighting I think they gave everything.”

Defending set pieces

“In the tactical meeting before the Everton game we talked about the Manchester United and Wolves games and how we were back to our normal standards where we’re better than most teams in this league on set pieces and scored two goals, conceded none and didn't concede any real chances.

"And then at Goodison I think we looked xxxx at our offensive set pieces ­– sorry for my language – and felt that we conceded two goals that were both avoidable.”

Learning from mistakes

“There were a few things we could have done better but once they scored the second we had a good spell, got the 2-1 goal and then had another chance… then we concede another set piece so the big disappointment is that we conceded two separate goals where we’re normally strong and that kills the game.”

Looking beyond the scoreline

“It’s not always easy to do that because when you lose 4-1 you can’t argue it’s a fair defeat, but I do think it was never a 4-1 game. They had four chances, scored four goals and were very efficient so fair play to them. But we had a good first half and were very aggressive, very intense and playing on the front foot. It was a very even game – they created nothing and we created nothing.

“Then they scored on a set piece we should never concede that was avoidable. And then in the second half we adjusted things and conceded after three minutes.”

New manager bounce

“In the first 10 to 15 minutes I thought you could see the effect [of Frank Lampard being announced to the fans] and then it flattened. It was more even for the rest of the first half and then of course they got a boost with the first and second goals, so yes the new manager had an impact but not too much.”

Focusing on the league

“Hmmm. No. I hate losing so I’d honestly prefer us to be in the FA Cup still so at this moment in time I’m more disappointed that we went out. But in 24 hours our focus will be solely on the league.”

Taking care of the football

“Apart from the two mistakes on the set pieces that we need to avoid, the other area where we need to do better in general is taking more care of the ball. All these second balls and bouncing ball situations where we need to have a good set of two or three passes, get out of the situation and look forward… that's what needs to be better.”

Believing we can…

“I'm very aware we need to get back to winning ways but I’m also very aware like everyone else that going to the Etihad to play Manchester City is relatively difficult. If you’re a club in the bottom 14 it's very rare that anyone takes points there. We are going there believing we can do something and get something from the game, but we’re also very aware it’s maybe one of the most difficult games of the season.”

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