Thomas Frank on his expectations of Newcastle United, Eddie Howe and the fans
Thomas Frank arrived in December 2016 at Brentford as assistant head coach.
When Dean Smith jumped ship to Aston Villa in October 2018 after Steve Bruce’s sacking, the Dane found himself promoted to the top job, guiding Brentford to eleventh in the Championship by May 2019.
Thomas Frank then really put his stamp on things, with Brentford rising to a third place finish in 2019/20, only to lose to Fulham in the play-off final.
Then 2020/21 another third place and play-off final, however, this time Thomas Frank and his players successful against Swansea at Wembley, promoted to the Premier League.
An impressive start to the season saw the newly promoted club pick up three wins and three draws, only one defeat, in the opening seven Premier League matches.
However, the promotion momentum has stalled, injuries not helping as Brentford have lost their last four PL games ahead of their trip to Tyneside, including defeats to Burnley and Norwich in the last two.
A first visit to St James Park for Thomas Frank and a first trip to Newcastle United for Brentford as a Premier League club.
Thomas Frank talking ahead of today’s match about what he expects from Newcastle United, Eddie Howe and the fans at a sold out St James Park:
Newcastle United fans and the expected St James Park atmosphere:
“Going to St James Park and playing in front of 52,000 very supportive fans is a fantastic opportunity. We are really looking forward to it.
“We are aware that if they get on top of the game [the fans] will get them flying. Especially in the beginning of the game we need to get the momentum going.
“All the players have played in bigger games than this one. The Play-Off Semi-Finals and Final had much more at stake than this one; this is three points and we badly want the three points.
“However, like every other week, the other club badly want the three points.
“The city and the stadium will be absolutely bouncing. The players will come flying out, focused and motivated to do what they can.”
Facing Newcastle United:
“We try as much as possible to go with our own game plan every week but the tweaks we do to the game plan depend on the opponents. We will try to be as aggressive and front-footed as normal. We will try to get on the ball as much as possible and create.
“I have an idea [about Newcastle] and that is what we prepare for. We need to be flexible.
“It is impossible to predict. It is terrible timing for us when it comes to that [facing a team that has appointed a new Head Coach].
“When you go into all the games, except for the first one [this season] against Arsenal, you can analyse their last games. A lot of teams play one, maybe two, systems and then it is maybe one player.
“Now there is a new manager coming in with a new style of play. We haven’t looked that much at Newcastle, apart from individual players, but rather what Eddie Howe did at Bournemouth in terms of shape and style. I am pretty sure about what I can expect on Saturday, but I can’t be 100 per cent sure about the shape.
“I expect them be very aggressive, on the front-foot and pressing. They will try to dominate as much as possible on the ball. He will try to implement his philosophy from day one. He is clever so will not focus on 100 things from the first time but be very aware of making Newcastle a stable side. They will try to take things step by step and then try to add points after points after points.
“Newcastle are a top club so should be high up. If we can take three points on Saturday, he can take all the points he wants until we face them again.”
On Eddie Howe:
“He is an extremely talented manager and one of the most interesting young, English managers.
“His profile is fantastic and stands for progressive football, front-footed pressing, and being dominant on the ball. I admired his job at Bournemouth a lot.
“He is young but he is experienced. He has been manager for ten or 11 years; He has tried and tested a lot of things at Bournemouth.
“The squad he has now at Newcastle is better than what he had at Bournemouth. With better players and his well-proven, structured ideas, I’m convinced that, over time, he will be a success at Newcastle.”
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