Brentford boss Thomas Frank praised three of his fringe players for their performances in the FA Cup third-round win over Port Vale.
Frank made nine changes for the clash at Vale Park but the Bees avoided an upset, weathering a brief Vale fightback in the second half in a 4-1 victory.
Bryan Mbeumo scored a hat-trick but Frank highlighted the displays of first-half goalscorer Marcus Forss, 18-year-old full-back Finley Stevens and 20-year-old Danish midfielder Mads Bidstrup.
“I think it’s very important for the morale, for the togetherness,” Frank said of his squad rotation.
“I was very pleased with a few performances. I think Fin Stevens did brilliant, especially first half as a wing-back, fantastic passing and crossing. I thought Marcus was brilliant, his pressing and intensity and the goal – wow.
“And then the last one, Mads Bidstrup. He played bad in the Forest Green game, he played very well against Stoke and I think he kept that good impression with a good performance.
“One of his strengths is he has such a big engine. He reminds me a little bit of (N’Golo) Kante, that’s a big word of course, but his ability to press and cover so many yards across is fantastic and that acceleration where you just go past people.”
Brentford face a busy period in the Premier League with two matches a week until mid-February but Frank would welcome a cup run.
He said: “I think last year we showed we really wanted to do well in the Carabao Cup in the most congested Championship ever because of Covid.
“We also wanted to have a real go in the Carabao Cup this year. We got to the quarter-finals, we went toe-to-toe with Chelsea, and I want to go far. I like to nail the balance.”
Port Vale were playing their first match since December 11 because of coronavirus postponements and will now focus on the League Two promotion race.
Cheltenham boss Michael Duff confirmed they have accepted a bid for wing-back Chris Hussey, and Vale manager Darrell Clarke did not dispute that it was from his club.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “Nothing’s done until it’s done.
“We want to bring in another maybe four or five players in the window. We’ve lost a few players, we need to strengthen, we are doing that. Recruitment are working very hard.”
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