Brentford conceded two first half goals from distance as they were beaten 2-1 by Leicester City on Sunday. The hosts struck twice from almost the same spot 25 yards from goal in 15 first period minutes as they took a half time lead and even though Yoane Wissa pulled one back for Brentford, Leicester got over the line. After the game, Thomas Frank spoke to the written press. Jim Levack, who has covered Brentford for many years for Press Association, among others, reports on what he had to say..........
“Leicester were the better side in the first half… we didn’t play with enough edge and aggression in the pressure and could have done more on the ball, played it and moved it quicker. We changed that a little bit at half time which obviously helped.
“Second half we were the better side. We were very aggressive, moved the ball well and created the chances we needed to actually score two goals. If we’d got the goal a bit earlier I think we’d have got the point that over the two halves would have been a fairer reflection of our performance.”
Expected goals conundrum
“We restricted them to zero clear chances, but they had two good shots and put two in the top corner thanks to two worldies, so fair play to James Maddison and Timothy Castagne who looked surprised himself. They’ve now scored three out of four in the top corner against us and even I know they don't do that every single time they play.”
Kasper Schmeichel pulled off two point-blank saves late on to deny a Brentford fightback and thwarted compatriot Mathias Jensen before the break, prompting some friendly ‘harsh’ words from Thomas.
“I said to him ‘why do you do that against us every time? And then I said ‘well done’. He definitely made some fantastic safes that made it more difficult for us to really get close and maybe make it a very exciting game in the end. Without a doubt he kept them in the game in the second half.”
“I knew Eriksen would be out (with COVID) on Monday or Tuesday, so of course we were disappointed because he’s a top player and we’d have liked him on the pitch because he’d have given us a better chance. But saying that we did well enough, especially in second half, to get something out of it… and I don't think even he could have stopped the two goals going into the top corner.”
“Because our pressure wasn’t quite right we were neither here nor there at times which meant they progressed too easily. When we did press them higher up that little bit of transition wasn’t quite right, but I don't think that was the biggest problem for us in the first half.”
“Yoane, Bryan and Ivan were better in the second half than first half. When we changed to 3-5-2 with Yoane, Ivan as the striker and Bryan as wing back that helped them a tiny bit in terms of getting them close enough with enough players in the box, so I thought it felt okay.”
Playing cat and mouse
“For our corners they put three on the half-way line so it’s a cat and mouse game. We didn't expect them to do that, but we always plan for it. That's where we have to be brave, go man for man and we don't have one extra down there so we continue to maximise the opportunities to get in the box. We still created some chances, the big one for Pontus and another one for Bryan, that could have decided the game.”
Top flight Tariqe
Tariqe Fosu made his Premier League bow and looked lively when he came on late at Leicester.
“I think he did quite well. He was composed, he got in some good situations, showed good one on one skills and then produced some crosses.”
Christian Eriksen could be set to make the next step in his return… and Thomas couldn’t be more pleased. He is due to join up with the Denmark national side alongside colleagues Christian Norgaard and Mathias Jensen for games against the Netherlands and Serbia. He will link up with the group slightly later after his positive COVID test.
“It’s between Christian and the national team and he should join them within a couple of days, but I don't know when exactly. It would be fantastic if he played. It was a big milestone when he came on the pitch against Newcastle and the next milestone is to play for Denmark, especially in Parken. After that, the focus is on us and the Premier League.”