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Brentford boss Thomas frank over club’s Premier League ambitions

Brentford v AFC Bournemouth – Sky Bet Championship – Playoff – Semi Final – Second Leg – Brentford Community Stadium
(Image credit: John Walton)

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank has challenged his players to make sure their remarkable journey into the new world of the Premier League does not bring a campaign to forget.

The Bees finished third in the Sky Bet Championship last season, going on to beat Swansea in the play-off final at Wembley to secure a return to the top flight for the first time since 1946/47.

The west London club welcome Arsenal to the impressive Brentford Community Stadium on Friday night, which is set to be close to a capacity 17,250 crowd to mark the historic occasion.

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Brentford have come a long way in a short time under Frank.

The Dane took over following the departure of Dean Smith for Aston Villa in October 2018, when the Bees were based still at Griffin Park and talk of Premier League football seeming little more than a pipe dream for those fans in the pub at every corner of the ground.

Frank, though, maintains the club are very much still on an upward trajectory as they prepare to go head-to-head with the elite of English football after a 74-year absence.

“I was here when they broke ground on the stadium, I have seen its rising and now we are actually playing Premier League football in this beautiful, new stadium. It has been a remarkable journey for a lot of people,” Frank said.

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank applauds fans

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank is hoping the Brentford Community Stadium can provide home comforts in the Premier League (John Walton/PA)

“We are proud, we are excited, we can’t wait – but we want to go out there and prove ourselves.

“After the play-off final there was massive relief, satisfaction and joy because we achieved our target.

“But, standing there at the top of the mountain, you looked over and there was another mountain which is even higher and even steeper. We now want to get on top of that.

“The players are elite sportsmen and we, as staff, want to win. There is no satisfaction in getting into the Premier League and doing badly.”

Brentford were Wembley winners

Brentford were Wembley winners (Mike Egerton/PA)

Frank continued: “I expect two things from Friday night – my players will run themselves into the ground and the fans will be right behind us through every minute. This is the kick-off to a new world where we have never been before.

“My hope, and maybe also expectation, is that everyone involved in that game on Friday will experience one of the greatest atmospheres ever.

“If the supporters are not really on it for that night, with everything – the first time we are a sell-out, the first time in top flight in 74 years…

“They need to make a top performance and we will do our very best to make a top performance.”

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Brentford have moved to strengthen the group during the summer.

DR Congo forward Yoane Wissa is the latest recruit to offer support to leading frontman Ivan Toney, who will be in the spotlight after finishing last season with 31 goals in the Championship.

“I have a big belief in the squad and a big belief in the team,” Frank said.

“Maybe I will be wrong in a year’s time, but if you don’t have that belief in your team, you aren’t going to achieve anything.”

Arsenal may not be the Premier League force they once were, but Frank is not expecting an easy ride.

“They are a massive club, one of the biggest clubs in England and in Europe,” he said.

“They are going through a transition; they want to be a top four club again. They have done the right thing in appointing a very promising manager in Mikel Arteta.

“They are trying to build a new team and a new culture, that takes time.

“Every manager and team needs to win games, but I am convinced that they can create something exciting and new in the future.”