Frank says it's win-win over Benrahma, as Brentford cruise to quarter-final date with Newcastle
Thomas Frank insists he is calm about whatever fate has in store for Brentford when it comes to star player Said Benrahma.
The mercurial Algerian hit two goals in Thursday night’s 3-0 League Cup triumph over Fulham – the second a sumptuous solo effort – and the odds are still on him being prised away before the transfer window closes, as Ollie Watkins was.
But the Bees boss knows that the striker may have added a few million to any transfer fee after another typically thrilling contribution which guided the Bees into the quarter-finals for the first time – and a hot home date with Newcastle United in December.
“I will love him to stay with us. I would love to have him, but I don’t know, honestly,” said Frank.
“We've said it before that if the price is right, we are open for selling him, but if not, we will all be happy, and the fans will be happy, for him to stay.
“We are going to get a top price or we’re going to have one of the best offensive players in the division.
“The first year in our club he was good but I think last year he was outstanding, and he showed all that in this game in terms of that attitude, where you’re confident but still humble, because you need to work unbelievably hard to be a modern footballer. You look at his recovery runs, his pressing, his work-rate.
“I liked mostly the first goal because, if you want to score enough goals, you need to arrive in that six-yard box, no matter if you are a tricky number 10 player. But of course, for the eye, I think all of us liked the second goal.”
The Dane denied that it felt extra special beating the team who denied his side a tilt at the top flight after the play-off final defeat of a few weeks ago. He said making history by reaching the League Cup quarter-finals for the first time was the real joy.
“It’s particularly satisfying that we wrote history tonight at the new stadium,” he said.
“For the fans, of course, beating a local rival and at the same moment creating history [is special], so we are pleased with that.
“It showed how far we progressed as a club that we managed to perform well in two tournaments. It shows a lot about the squad, and the mentality. I think we are creating that winning habit, which is extremely important.”
The Bees only came under the cosh briefly at the start of the second half but rode out the danger well to reestablish control to cruise home. That pleased Frank as much as anything.
“One thing I really like about my team – they do everything they can to fight and stay in the game no matter how much pressure they are under and I think that’s a fantastic attribute,” he said.
“It’s extremely important to do that and then we scored the 2-0 goal on a set piece and then it was more or less game over, where we were in control.
“I think the intensity of our press was the key to winning the game.”