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Thomas Talks… Saying sorry and jolting out of it

Report from the post-match written press conference after Saturday's match against Wolves

24 January 2022

An Ivan Toney goal was not enough to prevent Brentford slipping to defeat on a mad afternoon against Wolverhampton Wanderers. In a match that was halted for a drone flying over the stadium, with the players leaving the pitch, the visitors took the points thanks to a pair of second half goals.Toney's goal came between the two from the visitors but could not prevent them taking the win.

The afternoon also saw Rico Henry and Mathias Jensen clash heads, which saw them both removed and replaced by concussion substitutes, Wolves defender Toti sent off by Referee Peter Bankes, before it was overturned after the intervention of Video Assistant Referee Lee Mason, and the visitors have a goal disallowed for offside, also after a video check. 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, was on the call and reports on what he had to say..........

Ivan back to his best

“He played a good game. I think he is back to his normal level. After his break with COVID it took a bit of time for him to get up to pace – Villa and Southampton were not his best games – but against Liverpool he was good and Manchester United he was better. Then against Wolves he was very good and topped it off with a very, very strong technical finish.”

Recognising the effort

“We need to acknowledge the players’ effort and their ability to produce energy and intensity yet again. We played against Liverpool away, one of the toughest away grounds, at home to Manchester United in a very high intensity game and in both games we outran our opponents and then we produced again against Wolves who had a whole week leading up to the game. So I am incredibly pleased with the players’ effort and mentality.”

Doing better

“We gave two goals away that weren’t chances. The first was a quality finish from João Moutinho using the player in front and bending it round him, but the second we need to do better, push up quicker… and Jonas in the goal needs to do better as well.”

Getting what we deserve

“Again we didn’t. We played a good game, put in a very solid performance throughout and if there should have been a winner it should have been us. I'm not saying we definitely should have won it but at the very least we should have a draw.”

Working the keeper

“I don't know the exact statistics but I think we had by far the most shots in the game, so I think it was fine. It’s just that sometimes you need that randomness or a little bit of luck to go your way and at the moment it’s not. But it will.”

Bryan Mbeumo flying

“I wanted to have a change to 3-4-3 and I wanted to have enough offensive players on the pitch for it to work. We played Sergi with his good foot coming inside and I wanted to do the same with Bryan so he could produce some crosses or situations, and I think that actually helped put the pressure on Wolves.”

Double blow

“The collision between Rico and Mathias was horrible. I just saw the ball and then both of them running and just though ‘oh my god, this is going to be bad’.

"The good thing is they're both fine. We were able to treat them at the ground rather than hospital. Matty has been cleared for concussion and Rico needs to be assessed over the next few days.”

Rhythm busting

“It was a very long delay for the drone and the microphone problems and it wasn’t helpful. Hopefully the police will find the person responsible and he or she will be fined for all the disruption they caused.”

Flashpoint

“Of course I was frustrated we didn't get something from the game but I was actually relatively calm going on to the pitch and had no intention to say anything to Peter or the players. Then there was a situation (with a Wolves player) that triggered it – like a confrontation that happens 1,000 times on the pitch between players so nothing big – and I was not calm enough so I got a yellow card for that. Fair enough.

"Then I turned around to Peter and said ‘you can just give me the second one as well’ and he did.

“I went into his room very calm once I got some oxygen into my brain because I needed to know why I got the second one, and he said it was because I turned round in a too aggressive manner. He said he’ll look back at it and see if it is looking like that on TV. If it does it will stand with a red but if not, then there's only one yellow, so let's see what happens.”

Saying sorry

“I said to the players that I want them to control their emotions and not get stupid cards. I said I'm sorry for that this time because I was not good enough. It was disappointing that I couldn’t control my emotions.

“I try to be transparent in everything I do – this is me – and if I feel we are unfairly treated or that someone was after my players, that triggers me. So you represent your team and that's just part of me to be like that.”

Finding focus

“It was difficult after the stoppages but it’s the same for both teams. If you look at the minutes we played throughout the game there should be only be one marginal winner and that’s us. We kept them to a minimum of chances – not even chances – from the edge of the box and they got the win. It’s disappointing and frustrating, but overall our performance against a good side was very solid.”

Perfect timing

“The winter break is perfect timing and I’d think that if we’d had four wins or four losses. It’s a good time to pause, almost halfway through the season when everyone needs that little mental break. It's good for the football as well as the players. Afterwards we can hopefully come out and produce even better games and better performances.”

Strengthening

“If we can make the squad and team better for the right price, we will try to like we do in every window. But if you look back at recent games we have had two really good performances, one where we were below par and have held our hands up and Wolves which was maybe not a top performance but a really solid seven out of 10 performance that on most days should give us at least the point and hopefully three.”

Returning “new” signings

“We played well after losing two key players in a freak collision - how often does that happen? We're just in that kind of spell right now - still lacking David Raya and Josh Dasilva – and I don't think we’ve played our strongest team with the players we have in our squad once this season, so I'm confident these boys can do a good job.”

Jolting out of it

“This is the Premier League and a lot of teams can go four, five, six, seven, eight or nine games without win through a season… that happens, with probably a few draws in there. That's why Wolves was always a winnable game that could have jolted us out of the run.

“If you look at the performance it's annoying that we didn't get something for all our hard work, but we can’t sit down and cry. There's only one thing to do and that’s stand up, fight and move forward.”

Improving quality

“One area we need to improve in is the final third quality in terms of decision making, crosses, passes and maybe also finishing. But again we’ve scored 26 which is very, very impressive so it’s random or a little bit lucky that Wolves are where they are with 19 goals although I know obviously we’ve conceded a few more. That’s nothing against Wolves – it's just to explain the randomness in football.”

Bankes balance

“I had a chat with Peter but we only spoke about my red card. But as for the other incidents I don't think there were any that that could really have changed the game. Yes, probably we could have discussed a few that maybe could have gone and should have gone our way, but I don't think there were key incidents not going our way.”

Turning up

“We turned up against Wolves even though they were not what you are calling a sexy team, but they are still a pretty good one that finished seventh two years in a row. We’ve showed in the past three games that we were very much in each, and we are live and more than capable of getting points in every game. We’ve also won against some of the top teams, but in the end it’s about winning enough games. I don't care if it's against the so called top six or the other 13.”

Feeling the pressure?

“No. For me, there's no extra pressure here compared to the Championship. There you’re  fighting to get promoted and in the Premier League you’re fighting to end as high as possible. It’s exactly the same pressure.”

Praying to the football gods

“The last couple of games have been frustrating because the dear football gods didn't want to go our way even though we worked so hard. I felt that we deserved something, but the performances have been good and it’s only a matter of time before they smile on us again.”


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