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Thomas Talks… taking a gamble and that video

Report from the post-match written press conference after win at Everton

17 May 2022

Rico Henry scored the winner as Brentford came from behind to beat Everton in a rip-roaring Premier League encounter on Sunday. The Bees fell behind early on before the hosts were reduced to ten men. A deflected Yoane Wissa shot levelled it up and the same man headed a second equaliser after the break. Henry headed home the winner moments later.

The final 3-2 score line only tells a part of the story. Everton ended the match with nine men and only had ten on the pitch when they scored their second goal, a penalty just before half time. But Brentford used the extra man to their advantage in the second period. 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..........

Calming the crowd

“I was delighted because Goodison Park is a very difficult place to play. The Everton fans were remarkable and I think it was potentially one of the best atmospheres I’ve experienced for the first 25 minutes… until the dynamic changed in the game.”

Handling long balls

“We struggled until their first goal because we handled the long balls badly. We didn’t attack them well enough, didn’t drop early enough and didn’t win the duels. That actually continued a bit throughout the half and played a part in the 2-1 goal, so that's a tactical bit we need to do much better.”

Staying patient after the red

“We came back into the game after the 1-1 goal. The red card helped us in a way but I think it's important to mention that a lot of teams this season haven't won when they’ve been behind and then played 11 against 10, so credit to the players for staying patient.”

Showing grit

“We not only came back once but twice and turned it around against a team that’s fighting and giving everything. That’s an incredible performance and says a lot about my players’ character.

“We showed immense character and desire despite a lot of so-called experts saying that we were going on holiday and didn't have anything to fight for. They have to want to win every single game for Brentford fans and for themselves, but it’s also very important to show respect to the Premier League that we’ll do everything we can because if I was in the situation Burnley, Everton or Leeds are in I’d definitely expect that from them.”

Shirt pulling

“The referees said to us before the start of season that we should avoid the soft penalties and I also think the penalty Everton got was soft. It was minimal contact so definitely its little bit soft.”

Preparing for Leeds

“Of course we will put our best team out because it’s so important to understand that we need to do our best to win… and that’s regardless of what’s happening with any of the teams that are down there.”

My mistake

“There was a story from when we were in the Championship two years ago, but I don't do mind games. By mistake said I think Leeds will fear coming to Griffin Park – that was the only thing I said and since that I haven't said anything bad.

“Leeds is one of the biggest clubs in the country. They should be in the Premier League with their history and I think they've done remarkably well, but of course I can't say I want them to stay up more than Everton or Burnley because the three of them need to fight for it and then we'll see who will be where.”

That video

“I know I'll get a lot of questions about the story of me, Leeds fans and a video, but there's nothing in it from my perspective. We want to do our best to try to win on Sunday and if we can finish top 10 that's remarkable.”

Cup final kings

“There’s quite a few quid to gain for the club if you finish higher so we will continue until the last whistle. After ten years in the Premier League maybe some clubs don't care if they finish 11th or ninth, but for us every game is a cup final and the atmosphere on Sunday will be as fantastic as it has been throughout the season.”

Changing it up

Thomas made a change at half time on Merseyside, taking off Mads Bech Sorensen for Vitaly Janelt – a switch which changed the course of the game.

“It was mainly tactical. We started in a 4-3-3 but after they went to ten men I tried to change as quickly as possible to attack in a 3-5-2 so I wanted a very offensive or better ball playing centre back to the left in Vitaly to play more forward.

“Then I wanted another offensive change so I put Christian outside to the right outside the centre bank and put Josh Dasilva in there which helped produce the cross for the winner.”

Gambling to win

“When we had momentum they defended more. I knew it was a little bit of a gamble, because we had Richarlison against Christian, but that's why I brought Mads Roerslev on at 3-2. Sometimes you need to gamble to try to win.”

Being mentally strong

“To play in an atmosphere like Goodison with a lot of different scenarios and the momentum changing all the time demands a lot of the players. At the end we kept the ball, but it was a little bit nervy and not like we just popped it around because Everton were on the front foot. That’s where the mental part of the game is so vital.”

Sympathy for the hosts

“I actually think Rondon slipped. It was never a deliberate foul so perhaps they’re unlucky but we’ve had that twice with Josh Dasilva. I think the young centre back because I don’t think bringing Ivan down was ever his intention but as we’ve seen for ourselves the small bits sometimes change games.”

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