Two goals in 90 first half seconds set Brentford on their way to a fine 3-0 win over Southampton. Pontus Jansson and Yoane Wissa both found the net in quick succession as The Bees took control of an entertaining contest. When the game settled down, Brentford had the upper hand and Kristoffer Ajer added a third late on. 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..........
Liking our approach
“I’ve liked the way we’ve approached it this season in terms of trying to be at it, trying to attack and trying to end as high as possible and always with a big, big focus on the next game and the next session.
“I'm not unaware of those clubs in the Premier League whose targets are to stay in the Premier League next season, but our targets have always been very clear. I was very pleased with the win, pleased with the performance in many ways and pleased that we have a good opportunity to finish on a high.”
Praising the players
“We’ve had an incredible season so far. I think we’ve been unbelievably impressive with the way we’ve performed and what we’ve shown so far.
“Big, big credit to the players, staff members and everyone involved in the club. Imagine winning the last two, that would be fantastic especially as the two teams we’re facing are probably the worst we could face besides Liverpool and Man City because they're fighting for their lives.
“The aim is to end as high as possible and if that could happen, that would be even more the cherry on the cake. To top the season off with a top ten finish would be crazy.”
Believing from the start
“I had a very good feeling and big belief going into this season. I said it to a lot of people before the season and constantly spoke to my players about being confident but humble and needing to put a lot of hard work into every single day to try to prove ourselves. They’ve done exactly that.”
Set piece mastery
“I’m sure Southampton looked at our defensive shape just as we looked at theirs on corners and wide free kicks. We tried to make a few adjustments to our game plan on the offensive side and I was very pleased that we were quite successful.”
Goals changing games
“Southampton started better in the first ten minutes but goals change momentum in games and ours definitely changed it for us. They were also a good reminder to us, not that we need one, that we are such a big threat on set pieces.”
“Christian Eriksen is very happy, he’s pleased, he feels loved and he’s certainly enjoying his football. Hopefully he’ll take a positive decision for us at the end of the season. He had some top moments against Southampton but I think he’ll agree with me he only had an average game.”
Seeking the last ten per cent…
“I'm at the top and I need to try to create a specific culture and mentality, but I’ve always said you can only push that to 90 per cent… the last ten is an unbelievably difficult percentage to reach and it has to come from the players within the group.”
… and finding it!
“This group of players is special because they’re willing to push for that ten per cent and they run so hard and work so hard and that’s why we can win in the Premier League 3-0 and it’s well deserved and it's not often you can say that.”
“He trained fantastically for the last four weeks. He usually trains well but he’s added an extra layer to his sessions, which is incredibly important. He gave us hard runs and was really switched on defensively. That’s important in any team but especially in this league where the margins are so tight and you need 11 players defending and 11 players attacking.”
Going to the next level
“I hope all our players can take an extra step up next year, but with Yoane I was pleased with his performance and pleased with his goal which was a good finish after a great advantage from the referee. He’s in a good place and hopefully he can finish off strongly.”
Deserving a debut
“Nathan Young-Coombes deserved it because he’s trained very well with quality and put a lot of hard work into his sessions and performances for the B Team and us, so I’m very pleased he got on. It was well-deserved.”
Writing the script
“Every game is a different story, and you don't know what will be written on that blank sheet of paper before the game. But against Southampton it felt like two teams doing a top job in many ways. Before the game we were both on 40 points, but this was a deserved win and proof that we are doing a good job.”
Not slacking off
“We really want to push for the last two games. It will be difficult against two massive clubs fighting for their lives, but we can only focus on ourselves and see if we can push further up the table. If we finish 12th it would be remarkable but if we can get into that top half it would be absolutely fantastic.”