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Thomas Talks… staying positive and taking chances

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

17 January 2022

Brentford’s first trip to Anfield for a Premier League match ended in defeat. Liverpool scored late in the first half and then added two more after the interval to secure the points. 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 Thomas had to say..........

A near perfect hour

“We played 60 very good minutes and were maybe even better in the first 45. We were unbelievably well structured, showed very good discipline, were brave when we went high in the pressure and defended low very well. We put bodies on the line when needed and gave nothing away in open play.”

Staying positive

“I’ve been very impressed with how we’ve handled some of the best teams in the world. It gives us a lot of confidence for the future but of course we're always aiming for the best. We’d like to do it for even more minutes… instead of 60 we want to do it for 90 plus.”

Ironing out the small stuff

“My job is to make sure we don't make the small mistakes that can kill games, but there are definitely a lot of positives to take from the first half at Anfield.”

Going forward

“What I take from the Liverpool game, especially the first half, is that if we can play like we did for the first hour in the future there'll be a lot of wins and points for us. I thought it was very promising. If we do that we won’t need to open up too early… that’s how they managed to get some chances.”

Growing into the game

“We had that massive chance for Vitaly and then we conceded from a set piece that should never happen. If you want to get a good result against a world class team, you can never concede from a set piece. Unfortunately, we did.”

Getting to the break

“I said to Jurgen Klopp that I’d have loved to have seen what happened if it was 0-0 at half time. After going behind we went out in the second half and were brave and had a chance for Bryan Mbeumo and then they scored, and at 2-0 it’s very difficult.”

Taking chances

“Bryan’s chance came when we were one down so it could have changed things massively. Overall we had two good chances and if you want to get something from a game like this at a place like Anfield, you need to take at least one of them.”

Rico part 1

“We planned for him to play 60 minutes so [taking him off after 49] was more precautionary. He got a contact that limited him and then there was no reason to take the risk with that in mind. It was fantastic to have him back. He's a big player for us. We don't have anyone like him, so it's good to see him out there again and we can't wait to have him play more games.”

Set piece sucker punch

“We're very aware of it. And if you want to be a good team in the Premier League, you need to be able to do all the phases. But if you're a newly promoted team, you need to be very good on defensive set pieces.”

Doing better

“You can't concede soft goals and I felt that in the first 10 or 12 games of the season we were brilliant at stopping them. Then, for whatever reason, we’ve conceded some set pieces where we were able to do better. The second one at Southampton was a freak goal but the first two at Liverpool we need to do better in both situations.”

Tightening up

“It’s frustrating [to have conceded seven goals in two games] but you need to look at the two games we are playing and the way they unfolded. I’m pretty sure it’s not the first time a team have lost 3-0 at Anfield. That said, it’s irritating me a lot because the goals, and especially the third, was completely avoidable and should never happen.”

Going longer

“In the first half we went longer on purpose. We went long against Manchester City and Liverpool again because they're very pressing teams, so why give them that opportunity? When we go high and press teams, especially those world class ones, what do they do? They go long. So maybe we should keep our discipline and not play short for that one (the third goal). The other ones I need to look back at to be more sure.”

Álvaro learning all the time

“He put some great saves in with some one on one situations when we needed him the most, and that’s where he is unbelievably good. Then, just like other keepers, there are other areas where he needs to improve and develop, especially with his longer kicking. But overall his was a decent performance.”

Rico part 2

“Both of our wing backs neutralised their wingers for long spells in the first hour. Rico did fantastically against Trent Alexander-Arnold, especially in the first half and this season he’s been very strong defensively, very aggressive in his one on one duels, put great blocks in, is very aware and going forward he’s a real threat. He’s scored two beautiful goals but he needs to still do better and develop in the final third.”

Regrouping

“We have two full days between Liverpool and Manchester United, but it is what it is. We will regroup, spend the maximum 24 hours in terms of disappointment or recovery and then be ready to fight again against United. It’s a game we are looking forward to and I’m sure our fans who were magnificent at Anfield are too.”


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