Thomas Frank walks into the set with a cup of fluorescent colored water in his hand, sits down and brushes his long hair away from his face.
The Dane, who has built a reputation as one of the EFL’s most charismatic head coaches, is rarely seen without a spring in his step, but he is more important on this occasion – and for good reason.
Not only his side reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals earlier this month, they are unbeaten in 15 outings of the Sky Bet Championship – which dates back to October 27 – and have a comfortable five-point cushion between them and the large group of teams currently outside the top six.
The challenge of setting the record right after last season’s final play-off loss to Fulham is rapidly gaining ground.
“Nine games is the most a team has played in December for a long, long time and coming out of that undefeated spell is incredible,” he said. Sky Sports, beaming.
“I had a meeting with the coaching staff, performance staff and medical staff before entering this busy schedule – which started in mid-November – where we knew we could play 15 games of continuation, Saturday-mid-week-Saturday-mid-week.
“So if anything, we had to be aware of how we made sure there was enough freshness in the squad, how we avoided injuries, how we fared under difficult circumstances. We then followed that up every week to try to make sure we got it right, with the little details on and off the pitch – and it went pretty well.
“[It gives us] massive confidence, of course. I do what I can to make it stronger each day, either by showing a video clip of us sprinting back, winning a duel, defending well, or playing a good defensive game. But the best way to show it is when you come from behind.
“It’s not difficult when you’re leading 1-0 and everyone can see we’re about to get three points, it’s when you’re down you have to show how strong you are. The best example is when we lost 1-0 away to Cardiff, which we know are a very difficult team to face, and turned the tide. “
While recent coronavirus outbreak at club forced matches against Bristol City and Reading to be postponed, the Bees are currently in fourth place heading into the weekend’s action, the same position they held at the same stadium last season, albeit five points better.
It’s another indication that the West London club – who ousted four Premier League sides with relative ease in their Carabao Cup run – are properly prepared for what appears to be an inevitable leap to the top. ‘elite.
Their new bullish trend in the transfer window should also give them an edge. Over the summer, Frank openly said that precious assets Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma would be allowed to leave the club and, subsequently, they did, joining Aston Villa and West Ham respectively.
This month, however, he issued a strict ban warning to all potential suitors. “It shows the progress of the club that I am able to say it firmly and people will believe it. We will not sell anyone,” he said.
Due to changes in the size of a game day squad this quarter, Brentford has been fortunate enough to give youngsters blood from their innovative and constantly improving B-team, which is now in its fifth season of existence, to complete the first team, including former Arsenal youngster Fin Stevens, Scotland striker Aaron Pressley and Max Haygarth, a recent Manchester United acquisition.
Frank thinks the setup is kind of hitting its limit.
“When you start a project like Team B and you start transforming clubs or playing a different style of play, it takes years,” he continues.
“If you want to create a good academy and start today, you won’t see the real results for maybe four or five years and most likely it will take between five and ten years. What we have accomplished in four years is quite remarkable and I still think that we are not where we want to be in terms of the level of actors that we want to develop.
“That doesn’t mean Team B is not doing well because they are doing amazingly well, but it just takes time.
“A lot of the players we have in the day’s squad are a good example of that, but more importantly it was the two players who played quite a few minutes. It was Mads Bech Sorensen and Marcus Forss who were through the program and not only played but done well at the top of the championship.
“This is the real test, that we not only have players in the first team, but we actually play them in matches, start them in matches and extend their contracts because we think they don’t. are not only players of the team but that they are decisive actors. “
Brentford’s trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last week saw Frank pit his wits against Jose Mourinho – whom he humanized in his pre-match press conference by saying: ‘I studied football for years and Jose is one of the best of all time. I’m always sure he also goes to the bathroom sometimes. “
Everything is fine in TW8, it could become a regular reunion.
“He said he hoped, but also that he expected to see us in the Premier League and I said I hope so, but you never know, it’s a tough league,” Frank adds .
“I think that [last season] must be the fuel. We use that extra desire, that extra determination and I also think we’ve shown that we grow as a team.
“Since the Watford game [on December 15] and in the future i think we’ve had longer stretches of the smoother football that we prefer to play, but we all know it’s hard to play smooth football for 90 minutes week after week especially with three games per week .
“What we’ve learned is that we’re a little more stable, making better decisions and having a little more defensive awareness. The squad just came together and you don’t go undefeated for 15 games in championship without real solidity and solidarity in the team. I hope we can add another level in the second part of the season. “