Thomas Frank was full of praise for his Brentford team after they won 1-0 at Bournemouth despite playing almost the entire second half with 10 men.
The Bees battled on after the dismissal of captain Pontus Jansson, with Bryan Mbeumo scoring the winner.
“It was one of those wins, there are not many of them in a season, but one of those where you are extra proud,” Frank said.
“From the first minute to the last minute it was a top performance and a fully deserved win, even with 46 minutes [including six minutes’ stoppage time] of 10 v 11.
“Maybe in the first five to 10 minutes, Bournemouth had a few opportunities, but besides that for the rest of the first half we were the better side and on top and we dominated.
“We created chances, were very aggressive in the press and gave nothing away, so should have been up at least one goal and maybe more.
“Then five minutes into the second half we had the red card and needed to regroup. I wanted to keep the offensive mindset and played 4-3-2 as I wanted to win.
“We needed to wait for the opportunities, but we knew they would come and we gave so few chances away. It was very impressive and says everything about the players’ mentality.”
Frank made a double change very quickly after Jansson’s exit, bringing on defenders Charlie Goode and Mads Bech Sorensen for the more attacking Sergi Canos and Tariqe Fosu and changing the three-man defensive formation with which he started the game.
He explained: “In our first set-up we only had two centre-halfs and a right-back, as Christian Norgaard is a midfielder, so without Pontus that was a little bit too lightweight to defend in a 4-3-2. I wanted to keep two on top, which is why I put Mads at left-back. The players just worked so hard and it is a privilege to work with them.”
The victory secured Brentford’s place in the play-offs, which will be the club’s 10th appearance in the end-of-season competition, from which they are still to win promotion.
Frank said: “It is impressive to do it two years in a row and to compete for direct promotion two years in a row. We don’t take it for granted. We keep selling our best players but the model we have is working quite unbelievably.
“Hopefully we can get over the line this time with some help from the man in the sky.”