A 'top performance' by Brentford despite valuable points dropped against Forest, insists Frank
Thomas Frank declared that promotion chasing Brentford put in a ‘top performance’ despite the fact his team could only draw 1-1 at home against Nottingham Forest.
Striker Ivan Toney’s penalty in just 11 minutes – his 28th goal of the season - should have been the springboard for a comfortable win for the Bees against Chris Hughton’s side, who arrived in west London languishing 18th in the Championship.
Filip Krovinovic netted an equaliser for Forest, however, in the second half, to stun a Brentford side who have now drawn two games in a row and remain behind Swansea City and Watford in the hunt for an automatic top two promotion place.
The stuttering Bees have nine games remaining – but their edgy showing at the Brentford Community Stadium suggests a playoff berth at the end of the campaign might, in fact, be the best outcome they can hope for.
Frank, though, remains defiant in the wake of a game which he feels was very much there for the taking.
“If you look at the ninety minutes we could have easily had a 3-0 win,” said the Brentford head coach.
“We came out in the second half and needed to create chances and kill the game at 2-0. Then they equalised with their one shot on target, where the ball dropped perfectly for them.
“We are in the position where we are frustrated but it is very important to look at the performance. This was a top performance and I think Ivan is the best penalty taker in Europe. His link up play is at an extremely high level too. He has such a big awareness around him.
“The big thing is to get on the end of chances – I am 100% of the belief that we need to remain calm and on another day this would have been three points.”
The upcoming international break may have arrived at an optimum time for the west Londoners, who can at least attempt to re-energise for the final stages of the season.
Frank added: “I think we are still going to regroup to be ready for the run in. We have to take one game at a time and the focus will then be on Huddersfield (on Easter Saturday). If we can get a little bit closer, but we can get too much noise in our head if we get ahead of ourselves.”
Hughton, meanwhile, was satisfied at taking a point back to the east Midlands – and he backs the Bees for a strong finish with an eye on promotion, by any means.
“It was a disappointing start to concede the penalty but we have a lot of experience in the team,” said the Forest chief.
“They showed great character after going down. You can’t come and play against the better teams without working hard at both sides of the game. I thought we worked really hard off the ball.
“Brentford have quality, they are pushing and are a class act and were so good last year. They will be pushing for that automatic spot, but if they can’t do that they can make it up from the playoffs.”