Brentford, like all the other Championship clubs, are gearing up to embark on a marathon run of matches between this weekend and the start of 2021.
The next week after this international break when the Bees do not have a scheduled midweek fixture, as well as a weekend game, is at the start of January.
In total, Brentford are due to play 13 matches between this Saturday and 2 January – 12 in the league to take them to the halfway point of the season, as well as the first League Cup quarter-final in the club’s history.
It is a far more intense period than the opening two months of the campaign, in which 11 Championship games were played and where there were also two international breaks, as well as Carabao Cup ties.
The intensity – with nine of those matches in December – is one reason why Bees boss Thomas Frank joined the calls for five substitutes to be allowed in matches rather than three.
While some of his players enjoyed four days off over the weekend, others have been involved in international matches – mainly outside the UK.
Brentford resume the season 11th in the table, but only three points outside the play-off places.
And Frank said he believes there is “more to come” from his players.
Although last season the Bees finished in their highest league position for 73 years, after 11 games – the same number they have currently played – they were nearer to the relegation zone than the top six.
Brentford had also failed to score in six of their matches, whereas this season they have found the net in all but two – the opening day defeat at Birmingham and the recent draw with Middlesbrough.
Frank feels that his side has only let itself down on two occasions so far this season.
“We have played good or top in nine of our 11 league games, with the exceptions Preston and Stoke, and if we continue that ratio, then we will collect a lot of points going forward,” he said.
“I would love to have more of these complete performances like we had at Luton and at home to Huddersfield, which was really good as well.
“I just sense there is more to come from the group and we will do everything we can to get the best out of the players going forward.”
Asked if the team was where he expected it to be in the table at this stage, he said: “I don’t know, I didn’t expect anything after 11 games, I’m just focusing on what is coming up next.”
That is back-to-back away games – at Wycombe on Saturday and Barnsley next Tuesday – before the west London derby against QPR and then another Tuesday night trip to Yorkshire, at Rotherham, in a fortnight.