• By Yann Tear

Emotional Frank so proud to be part of Brentford's 'incredible journey' back to the summit


Thomas Frank admitted he shed a few tears in the aftermath of Saturday's historic play-off final triumph at Wembley.

And he was quick to heap praise on his players for coping with the pressures of rising expectations to banish the memories of last season's meek defeat to Fulham in the season finale.

First-half goals from Ivan Toney (who else) and Emiliano Marcondes did the trick as Swansea City were despatched 2-0 with the minimum of fuss. The Premier League now awaits to end a 74-year wait for top-flight football.

"Of course I was very emotional," said the Bees' head coach.

"There were tears in my eyes and also from a lot of the players and the staff because it's so big, especially the way we did it.

"If you get promotion it's an unbelievable achievement, but we were so close last year twice - we were so close to automatic promotion and the play-off final and were so devastated.

"Then we had 10 days holiday, less than that, back into it with Covid restrictions and a condensed season. We go 21 games unbeaten and are top of the league, then a minor setback and we go into the final against a good Swansea side and we know anything can happen. It's unbelievable.

"But I sensed this week the players were calm, relaxed and ready to be ruthless. We talked about going out there with attitude, being brave with a cool head and only thinking about winning the next moment in the game."

Frank believes the experience of playing at Wembley last year did help his players, who were less awed by the occasion and put on such a vastly -improved performance this time around.

"Last year the stadium looked massive, it didn't look that massive this year," he said.

"Last year I didn't feel we played our best game, but we definitely did that this year.

"I feel this is a defining moment for the club, 100 per cent. Of course it's up to us to continue that journey next year.

"I am so pleased and humble and proud to be part of this journey with a lot of fantastic, dedicated, intelligent people.

"The way we have built the club and progressed year after year after year, and stayed calm after an unbelievable setback last year, this must be an example for so many clubs to follow around the world.

"I think the journey the club has been on has been absolutely remarkable and there should be a lot of clubs out there dreaming that anything is possible if you work hard and have a clear strategy."

Sounding a more personal note, Frank added: "I wanted this so badly with these players and I'm so glad we achieved it. It's an unbelievable feeling to be part of something this special. I know I've played a part but all the staff and players played a big part.

"Last year there was no real expectations about us at the beginning of the season, this time there were and we needed to handle that on top of everything, so we had the handle the mental side of being one of the top teams that everyone fears - and there's the pressure upon us to do well and the players have done fantastically to stay focused.

"It's extremely important we stick to our way of playing in the Premier League and I've no doubt we will. We'll be calm with a clear strategy and see what happens."