Frank admits he faces tough choices after Bees win
Thomas Frank admitted he is going to have some difficult team selections ahead after the welcome return of Christian Norgaard during the 2-1 win over Stoke.
The defensive midfielder, such a key part of Brentford’s season last year, suffered an ankle injury against Preston at the start of October and since then had only made a brief comeback as a substitute against Newcastle in the Carabao Cup, before reappearing late on against the Potters.
Vitaly Janelt has slotted into Norgaard’s role in the team and proved a more than able deputy – showing his skill again against Stoke and capping another fine display with a superb goal to equalise.
Norgaard replaced the German and Frank was delighted to see him back on the pitch.
“It is a massive boost for the squad, for the fans, for all of us,” he said.
“I said to the players after the match that first I wanted to praise Vitaly, Winston Reid and Henrik Dalsgaard who were the three driving us to keep the team in the game in the first half.
“I kept talking about Vitaly and was thinking about how to keep him on the pitch and have Christian on the pitch too.
“We have Vitaly again on Wednesday at Norwich and we are easing Christian back into the team, and we either have a serious problem to get them both into the team or the two of them have a battle (with each other) to play.
“But what a fantastic advantage for us and this team to have two such good players with such a strong mentality.”
Frank’s side hit back after going a goal down after 26 seconds.
He said: “The team showed unbelievable character and mentality to come back.
“We have done that a few times now. People have said Brentford will walk easily into the Premier League, but we all know how difficult it is in this league.
“In the first half, we didn’t take too many touches, we took bad decisions, and we didn’t press well.
“In the second half, our movement was much quicker, we took the ball forward much more and that was the difference. Our intensity was also much better as was our mentality.
“When you play against a back five, like Stoke had, it is so difficult to create chances and sometimes it needs a bit of brilliance and what a screamer from Vitaly.
“I thought then it was a matter of time before we scored the winner as we had many dangerous situations.
“Before the game I spoke about wanting to outperform Stoke on mentality and taking care of the ball. Our performance on the ball in the first half wasn’t good enough, nor our mentality to keep going.
“I used a couple of examples from the first half to tell the players at half-time that we needed to step up a bit more intensity.”