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  • by Julian Taylor

Frank frustrated at Blackburn draw - but is relishing better times ahead for Bees

Thomas Frank lamented Brentford’s late lack of concentration as his team were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw against ten-man Blackburn Rovers.

In what was an compelling clash at the Brentford Community Stadium, the Bees looked set to earn all three points when a penalty by Ivan Toney and a fine strike by Sergi Canos overturned an early goal by Joe Rothwell.

Yet Rovers’ substitute Jacob Davenport pounced to net three minutes from time, largely against the run of play, to take a point back to Lancashire.

Blackburn defender Darragh Lenihan was dismissed in the first half for a second bookable offence, which adds to the frustration felt by both Frank and the 2,000 Bees fans who were allowed admission to the Championship game at their new stadium, in accordance with ongoing Covid-19 guidelines.

“It was disappointing not to win, 100%, but I would rather look at what we did well,” said Brentford head coach Frank. “I wanted us to be a bit more positive but we just couldn’t get that third goal. I hope we will learn from this.

“I think we played against a very good side. We saw that in the first 20 minutes and they knew what we were going to do. They were on top in the first twenty minutes but we bounced back very well and showed great personality and character.

“After half time when they regrouped it is never easy playing against ten, so I was pleased how we handled it until their goal. We could have played more in their half and we were too passive when we were 2-1 ahead. When they equalised, Ethan [Pinnock] slipped.”

Frank risked using the full compliment of five substitutions and insisted he would do so again in what is likely to be another intense campaign for the promotion-chasing Bees, who currently sit in sixth place.

He added: “Do I want to use five subs again? We are playing 46 world cup finals in the most relentless, physical league and we need to be brave and make these decisions as players can’t play in them all.”

The Brentford boss was also pleased to finally note both the presence and influence of the home fans, despite the obvious disappointment of the eventual stalemate.

“It was nice to have them here but of course it was not the full experience,” admitted Frank. “Hopefully we will get to celebrate with them soon after a win. I was surprised at the amount of noise they made today. I can’t wait for a sell-out stadium.”

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray, meanwhile, was satisfied with the draw, particularly with Rovers having to play the entire second half with ten men.

“I think we deserved a point due to our work ethic,” he said. “I know Brentford are a very good team and we tried to frustrate them.

“They played very well in the second half but we readjusted and played the last ten minutes with the same early intensity we showed in the first half.”

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