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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the Gtech Community Stadium

Frank downplays Euro talk, but excitement building for relentless Bees

Thomas Frank is refusing to get drawn into debates about what qualifying for Europe would mean to Brentford, despite Monday night's derby victory over Fulham which brings them ever closer to one of those coveted spots.

The Bees are now unbeaten in 12 Premier League fixtures - a run stretching back to the October defeat at Aston Villa - and they are now just a point behind the Whites with two games in hand. Fulham currently occupy the seventh place required to go on an overseas adventure next term.

"The question about Europe [what it would mean to the club] I would love to answer if it actually happens. We will do everything we can to end as high as we can, and if that happens I would love to give you a good answer," said the Bees' coach.

"We dream and we are allowed to dream. We aim as high as we can. That's been the aim at the start of the season.

"Of course now it's looking good but as a head coach, around the corner you see the next threat and you are a little bit worried - but not tonight. I'll enjoy it for 24 hours and then we go again. We need to have a laser focus going going into the next game at Everton [on Saturday], which will be really difficult."

Caution aside, the Dane admitted it felt like another big night for the club, beating Fulham 3-2 at the Gtech - especially as it also featured the best performance yet from midfielder Mikkel Damsgaard.

"This is for us definitely in the Premier League the biggest London derby," Frank said. "It's more special against Fulham. In recent years, there's been a lot of interesting games between the teams, so of course it meant something extra, especially for the fans.

"I think Mikkel did well. I'm so pleased for him. It's a player we feel very privileged we could make a deal with in the summer. The potential he showed in the Euros in the summer of 21 was big.

"He was out for a year more or less and then we had to build him. He's definitely been impatient and I've also been a little bit impatient, but he deserves a lot of credit for his attitude and approach to the hard work - especially the last two months and he's taken a big step.

"In the last three or four weeks, he trained so well, with intensity. He was so sharp. I had to hold him back. Now, we can play him. It's the first step, as there's still quite a bit to add, but I'm pleased."

Ivan Toney put his off-field issues aside to again look sharp and bag a spot-kick, which was another source of pride for the boss. "It says a lot about his laser focus on training and games," Frank said. "Since I've known him, his ability to focus in games and training is quite unique. He's always aware what's happening around him. He's never switching off."

Marco Silva had fewer positives to take on a night when Fulham underperformed and failed to rise to the extra challenge of a derby against very motivated opponents.

"A disappointing night for us. A disappointing performance, I have to say," the Fulham boss mused.

"It was out fault. A derby away from home, we cannot start the way we started the game. We knew they are aggressive and can punish you with runs in behind and we conceded in one second action after a set piece and we gave two early situations for them to score.

"We were sloppy the way we started the first half and again the way we started the second half. After the first goal we showed a reaction and the character to equalise and start to control the game but it was hard to create chances.

"I think that their penalty was a really harsh decision by the official but we didn't play with the dynamic that we should have done and our decision-making wasn't at the standard it should be at this level.

"We have to improve for the next one." That next one happens to be against league leaders Arsenal at the Cottage on Sunday.


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