New stadium won't be hard to adapt to, insists Brentford boss, Frank
Thomas Frank says he does not expect his team to struggle in their new stadium – even though other clubs have often found a switch to new surroundings difficult.
The Bees just about passed their first test in the new Brentford Community Stadium, but needed penalties to overcome newly-promoted Wycombe after the League Cup first round tie finished 1-1.
Arsenal are the most famous example. They took eight years to land a trophy after giving up Highbury. West Ham are still coming to terms with the wide-open expanses of the London Stadium after giving up claustrophobic Upton Park and Tottenham’s new stadium has been as much of an inspiration to opponents as to Spurs.
Without the advantage of the familiar cramped confines of Griffin Park, the Bees will hope the same fate does not befall them and the boss is confident it won’t.
“Actually, I expect us to be bang on it from the first game," he said. "I don’t think, if we are going to play fantastic or not that fantastic from the first part of the season, I don’t think it will have anything to do with the new stadium – especially if we play without the crowd in the beginning.
“I think the pitch out there has the same measurements of all other football pitches, so there shouldn’t be anything with that.
“I don’t know exactly the history of Arsenal and West Ham and I don’t know why [they struggled to adapt] but there could be many reasons. It can’t only be because of the fans and the new stadium. I think if we perform, it’s because we have done something well.”
Frank said he greatly enjoyed the experience of playing in the new stadium. He said: “I love Griffin Park. It will be forever part of some wonderful memories I’ve had there. I’ll never forget that. Hopefully we can create new, wonderful memories here.
“It’s like we’ve moved into a new house. In a new home you have a nice barbecue with friends and you’re always a little bit excited and I think it went well the first barbecue. Hopefully we will have a nice big party with the fans when they are at the stadium.”
The Bees’ head coach was satisfied with the first match, even if his side laboured to get the job done. They had players away with their countries and have to look to new strikers if, as expected, Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma are prised away.
“We were missing, I don’t know how many players on international duty and it’s more or less a new team playing together,” he said. “I think there were some good performances out there. Ivan Toney had his first competitive game and there were some really good bits.
“You can see what he’s good at, especially in the box. I think he got three, four, five chances or situations when he’s in and around the ball, which is very good sign for a goalscorer. We knew, and it was one of the reasons we signed him, that he finds very good positions in the box.
“He will need to learn the style of play and also his team-mates need to learn about him – how he plays and that takes a bit of time.”