Brentford manager Thomas Frank describes the match with Luton Town in the Premier League as a fantastic story for football, with the two sides having faced each other in League Two 14 years ago.
The Bees will be hosting Luton Town at the Gtech Community Stadium today, the first time the two teams have faced each other since January 20th of 2021 in the EFL Championship. In the first of many games during this hectic December schedule, and coming off two losses against Arsenal and Liverpool, Thomas Frank ensures that he is constantly striving to focus on the positives in every game.
Frank takes positives from last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal despite the result. “Arsenal who recently ran over Lens 6-0 in the Champions League midweek, was limited by us to two chances in the game, with one resulting in a goal,” he said. “Defensively, we performed very well. Offensively, our performance was satisfactory, we still managed to create two significant moments during the game, I think we in many ways played a very good game.
Frank has confirmed that Mathias Jensen will not be available for the match on Saturday and will undergo more assessment before the Bees’ upcoming trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday. However, there’s positive news on fellow Dane Mikkel Damsgaard, who is nearing a return. Frank confirmed that Mikkel Damsgaard is “touch-and-go.”
Speaking about this weekend’s opponents, Frank mentioned, “It will be a completely different challenge compared to Arsenal. We share a similar history as two clubs. I anticipate us being more dominant at times, but I expect an equal level of challenge, albeit with a different approach to the game.”
League Two match between Brentford and Luton Town in 2009
Thomas Frank was full of praise for Luton, heading into the weekend, the Hatters find themselves in 17th place, four-points above the relegation zone. In contrast, Brentford is comfortably situated in mid-table, positioned just below Chelsea in 10th place, with goal difference separating the two teams.
“Like when we were promoted, they are probably the team with the smallest budget and the smallest stadium. They have had a very parallel journey to us,” said Frank. “Rob Edwards and his team did a top job to get Luton promoted, and it’s important to remember than Nathan Jones did a really good job there as well.
“I think a lot of clubs have fantastic journeys, but I liked the journey Luton has been on, and you know, it’s similar to us. It shows that it is possible for a smaller club to break into the best league in the world. I love that story.
Thomas Frank anticipates that Ethan Pinnock will play a crucial role against Luton, particularly considering Luton’s leading position in crossing statistics in the Premier League. “The entire team will strive to prevent crosses, but on the day, the responsibility will largely fall on Ethan and Ben Mee. Both recognized as two of the best defenders in the league, with Ethan being particularly key in this match.
Ethan Pinnock currently stands on top of the list when it comes to aerial duels won in the Premier League beating the likes of Van Dijk, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
The 19-year-old winger Michael Olakigbe has extended his stay with Brentford until 2028 over the weekend, Olakigbe has made four appearances in the Premier League so far this season, coming off the bench for his league debut against Bournemouth in September this year.
Regarding Olakigbe contract extension, Frank stated, “The original plan didn’t involve him training with us in every session, but he has actively participated in every session, and that’s entirely to his credit.
Frank adds, “There’s a lot of things he needs to learn, and I will say the hard work starts now for him.”
Thomas Frank took a sensible view on VAR when asked how he would improve it.
“No matter what we do, having a completely mistake-free game is impossible. Even my fantastic players, sometimes unfortunately, make mistakes. It’s just part of the game. It’s also important to be as consistent as possible. But the process is, I think, in need of improvement,” emphasized Frank