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"To really produce at a high level you need a fresh mind; This break helped massively"

Thomas Frank's pre-Everton Press Conference

5 February 2022

Thomas Frank sat down with the press on Thursday to preview this afternoon's trip to Everton in the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round. As well as previewing the trip to The Toffees, Thomas also reflected on the news that Christian Eriksen had joined The Bees and gave the latest squad update. 

Thomas took his press call on Thursday from home after testing positive for Covid-19 last Sunday. The Bees boss was hopeful that he would escape isolation in time for training on Friday and, as you can see below, that was exactly what happened. 

Latest on Josh Dasilva and David Raya …

Both played around 65 minutes against Aston Villa on Tuesday. David looked his normal self. I just need to speak to my staff now to see if David can start on Saturday. That was Josh’s third game. You can see three or four of those top actions where you just smile. There are bits in terms of intensity in the pressing game before he is up to his normal level but that was very positive. We have managed to sign three players this window; Josh Dasilva, David Raya, and Christian Eriksen which isn’t bad.

Team News for Saturday …

We will put a very strong team out there on Saturday. We want to perform very well in the Emirates FA Cup and Premier League and we haven’t had a match for a couple of weeks so there’s no reason we can’t put a strong team out and then put a strong team out against Manchester City.

Mathias Jensen played 90 minutes Tuesday so is fine and Rico Henry trained well the whole week. Both of them should be fine and available for selection on Saturday. They are just going to have a very nice scar in the middle of the forehead.

Zanka is still in a little bit of limbo but going the right way. He should train fully with the team soon.

Preparing for Frank Lampard’s Everton …

We are preparing by watching his Chelsea games. I think that’s the best way to see. He will try to put his stamp on it from day one. He will definitely play a little bit more aggressive and a little bit more high pressing. I expect them to come in a 4-3-3; that is what he did at Chelsea. It is very difficult to prepare for it but, as normal, we try to focus as much on ourselves. One thing is for sure and that is that on Saturday, at home, they will come flying out because they need to prove to Frank that they want to play and get into the team.

Putting the break to good use …

The more I am in this business the big thing is the mental part of it. Physically we can always produce one more sprint and run a bit more but, to really produce at a high level, you need a fresh mind. This break helped massively with that. I’m really looking forward to seeing the team play on Saturday.

Christian Eriksen’s arrival …

It’s potentially the greatest signing ever for the club. The day that Christian steps onto the pitch will be an unbelievable day. What happened to him in June was a shock for all of us. To see him out on the pitch soon is going to be a big day.

I am glad that he and his family are fine and comfortable with him training and playing football again. I am really looking to the day that he steps onto the pitch. It is a little bit of a miracle that he is, first and foremost, healthy but that he also wants to, and feels ready to, play football again.

Christian will arrive Sunday and train with the team Monday. That will be his first training. He has a personal physical coach and they had two zoom meetings with our Head of Performance, Chris Haslam, this week. Christian has a solid physical foundation; he has been running a lot and training a lot over the last month. His foundation is fine, but it is another thing to get up to that match intensity that we need. It is more or less impossible for me to say when he will be available. I will be much clearer on Monday when I have seen him and talked with his physical coach.

Ivan Toney …

It is a thing that Ivan needs to learn from and I’m sure he will. There’s no reason to expose himself or the club in a situation like that. The big thing to say about Ivan is that everything he does on the training ground, in the dressing room, and in matches is spot on. He is a big driver in the team, a leader, and has performed fantastically for us for more than 20 months.  Situations like that are what he needs to cut out to maximise his potential.

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