Thomas Frank was full of praise for goalkeeper David Raya after his mixed afternoon in Brentford’s 4-1 win at Middlesbrough.
The Bees’ weakness at defending set pieces and high balls into the penalty area was demonstrated again when Raya fumbled a third-minute corner and the ball went in off him to give the hosts the lead.
It followed goals conceded from a free-kick at Swansea, when there was a suspicion of a foul on Raya, and also free-kicks in the last two home games against Wycombe and Bristol City.
However, after that Raya pulled off four outstanding saves – three with the score at 1-1, which had any of them gone in, could have swung the game in Boro’s favour.
The Brentford boss admitted Middlesbrough’s goal was “a mistake by David”, but went on to say: “David was the stand-out player for me today.
“For the next three corners, he just went out and picked the ball down and that just shows what a strong mentality David has.
“He also pulled off those massive saves. So far in the league, we haven’t needed these big saves, just good saves in general, and he is just a top, top keeper in this division.
“But he will learn from the mistake and do even better next time.”
Frank was hugely impressed with his side’s performance at a windswept and rainy Riverside Stadium.
“I love my team. I must say this is an incredible win in many ways by what is a fantastic group of players,” he said.
“Going to this place under very, very difficult circumstances, the rain and the cold and a very difficult pitch, which I am not complaining about, and then going 1-0 down.
“To come back and win 4-1 against one of the best defensive sides in the league is an incredible mentality and just shows so much about this team and its attitude.
“I know I keep saying that, but I mean it’s the basic of a top football team – the work ethic, the hard work and the togetherness.
“But we need to defend better. We were giving too much away today, but the positive is that winning 4-1 is OK.”