Brentford travel to the Hawthorns on Monday night, looking to break their duck of three straight defeats in the Championship. Thomas Frank’s side have a daunting prospect ahead of them. They have only managed to gain four points away from Griffin Park this season and West Brom have made their stadium one of the most difficult places to play in the Championship this season.
After conceding another three goals against Sheffield United on Tuesday, the need to improve defensively is pressing.
“They are a threat going forward, they create chances and play some great football, they’re the best attacking team in the league we will have to have a big focus on defending,” Frank said of Monday’s hosts.
The Bees have only won one league game since Frank replaced Dean Smith in October, although some would claim they have been unfortunate. They have often showed promise in games in their passing combinations and movement, but their lack of concentration at the back has let them down repeatedly in key moments. They have lost six games by a solitary goal under the Dane.
Frank said: “Losing by one shows we’re doing something right, but there’s things we don’t do well enough, that is conceding goals and game management, it’s too big a pattern we concede too quickly after scoring or conceding.”
As part of the preparation for Monday night, the Brentford head coach took the opportunity to add an extra training session on Friday afternoon, focusing on those who have not received the most first team minutes.
Frank also reiterated that new standards and new methods were being implemented in the two sessions: “We have some issues and areas we need to improve, obviously the defensive side of the game, we’re conceding too many avoidable goals.”
Their opponents on Monday have only lost at home twice all season and come into the game on the back of three consecutive wins as they look to get back into the automatic promotion spots.
Whereas the bottom half of the table encapsulates the unpredictability and competitiveness of the Championship, as Brentford — who are currently 18th in the league — find themselves ten points from the play-off positions, but will be fearful of the fact they are also only four points clear of the relegation zone.
“We are in a spell,” Frank acknowledged. “And the only way out of it is hard work, toughness and togetherness from players, staff, fans and administration.”
Featured Photographer/Darren Barnard