Thomas Frank says Brentford v Luton Town is a ‘fairytale’ Premier League clash

Thomas Frank addressed the media at Brentford’s Jersey Road Training Ground on Friday, as the Bees prepare to host Rob Edwards’ Luton Town on Saturday. The Dane offered updates on a number of players, before revelling in the history of the two clubs as they prepare for a historic meeting.

‘Damsgaard is getting very close’

‘Unfortunately [Matthias Jensen] won’t make it tomorrow for Luton, so yeah, it is what it is,’ explained the boss. ‘[Mikkel] Damsgaard is getting very close – it was like touch and go weather to involve him in the squad. He’s really in a good place.’

‘There’s always something to learn’

Narrowly defeated by Kai Havertz’s goal in the 89th minute when Brentford faced Arsenal last time out, Thomas Frank insists that there are still positives to look for after an otherwise impressive performance.

‘I’ll always try to look at the positives in each game, try to reinforce the good messages from those positive situations – especially the ones that are linked with our principles and the way we want to do things. Of course there’s always something to learn but I think in many ways we played a very good game. We kept Arsenal, who just ran over Lens 6-0, to two chances – and one of them they scored on.’

‘The defensive side of the game we were very good, offensively we were fine but still managed to create two big moments in the game.’

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‘Everyone works so hard to get points in this difficult league and that we didn’t get anything from the game was tough to take. We win or learn, we learn something again that we’ll try to adjust and implement going forwards.’

The Arsenal match had been preceded by a defeat against Liverpool – but despite shipping three goals against Jürgen Klopp’s side, the Bees were praised for another strong performance. The Brentford boss also expressed his joy for that, explaining that ‘it’s very encouraging [to play well against Liverpool and Arsenal].’

‘I think this season, even though we’ve been struggling massively with injuries, we’ve put some really good performances out there. Thirteen games, I think twelve of them have been good or very good. We’ve been playing some even-ish games against two fantastic sides against Liverpool and Arsenal so it’s about that consistency to continue.’

‘Luton is going to be a completely different challenge’

‘Luton is going to be a completely different challenge [to Arsenal],’ explained Thomas Frank. ‘It’s a team we faced three years ago in the Championship, we’re two clubs that are similar in history and it’s a game where I expect us in spells to be more dominant, but I expect an equal level of difficulties in terms of the challenge ahead of us.’

The Hatters sit in 17th ahead of this weekend’s clash in West London, four points clear of the drop zone. The Brentford manager acknowledged the threat posed by Rob Edwards’ side, and praised them for a number of top-quality results thus far this season.

‘If we don’t defend well on our set pieces, if we don’t defend well and try to stop their crosses, if we don’t defend well in the second ball situations or duels – if we don’t defend these three key areas, we lose the game. We also expect to, in spells of the game, have more of the ball and that’s an area we’ve been working on this week.’

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‘I think Rob and his staff have decided how they want to attack the Premier League and I think their approach has been good. I like what I see when I watch them, I think they’re difficult to play against. It’s all about that – no matter what style you’re choosing to have, if you’re difficult to play against for the opponents, that’s a good sign!’

‘Everyone will say that [we’re favourites] because we’ve been here for three years, they’re a newly promoted side so that’s natural. We’ve done well, and we play at home so it’s natural that people have that expectation.’

‘I also have the expectation myself that we will win but the fact is we’re going a play a game against a team that’s very difficult to play against. I’ve seen their game, they lost 1-0 at Old Trafford against Manchester United, they played 1-1 against Liverpool, they just beat Crystal Palace 2-1 – that just shows me that this is going to be very difficult.’

Premier League clash would have been ‘an unbelievable bet’

‘I think [Luton Town] have impressed me,’ detailed Thomas Frank when asked for his thoughts on their performances in the top flight since their playoff victory last season.

‘Like when we got promoted, I’m guessing they’re the ones with the smallest budget and also the smallest stadium and everything. They are very similar to our journey. I think that Rob Edwards and his team have done a top job getting them promoted, I think it’s important to remember Nathan Jones too – and a lot of other people that I’ve probably forgot to mention!’

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‘We talked about it walking over here, we faced each other in 2009 in League Two – and now both are facing each other in the best league in the world, it’s a fantastic story… I think if you’d have bet on that, it must have been an unbelievable bet! It’s a fantastic fairytale and I think it’s fantastic really for everyone involved in the two clubs.’

‘I think a lot of clubs have fantastic journeys but I love the journey Luton has been on – it’s similar to us, it’s possible for a smaller club to break into the best league in the world and I love that story.’