Thomas Frank expects Hammers to be buzzing for match with Bees

The Brentford boss does not think David Moyes’ men will lack intensity in Sunday’s Premier League contest.
Thomas Frank expects Hammers to be buzzing for match with Bees

By Ed Elliot, PA

Brentford boss Thomas Frank has dismissed suggestions West Ham will be distracted by their European escapades during Sunday’s London derby.

The Hammers travel across the capital to take on the Bees in the middle of a two-legged Europa League quarter-final with Lyon.

David Moyes’ men have work to do in France next week following Thursday evening’s 1-1 at London Stadium, with a possible last-four tie against Spanish giants Barcelona a potential reward.

Frank insists the opposition’s additional commitments will have minimal impact as Brentford go in search of a memorable Premier League double.

“Every game is an opportunity,” said the Dane, whose side won the away fixture 2-1 in early October. “Of course I’m aware that we had a full week (to prepare) and they had a game.

“But I’ve seen also a lot of times other teams managed to perform in a three-game week – we did it a lot of times last year in the Championship.

“If it is any advantage, it’s a minor, minor, minor thing.

“I’m convinced that David Moyes and his players want to do everything they can to push for the top four, or finish as high as possible.

“So they will come with everything and try to win, no doubt about that.”

While West Ham have been preoccupied with continental competition, Brentford have been working hard on the training field, buoyed by last weekend’s emphatic 4-1 win at Chelsea.

The stunning Stamford Bridge success lifted the Bees nine points clear of the drop zone with seven fixtures remaining in their first top-flight campaign since 1947.

Former Brondby coach Frank, who guided the club to promotion via the Championship play-offs last May, has aspirations of one day emulating West Ham.

“Every club would dream about Europe,” he said. “I think that’s a big dream for us but we like to dream big.

“We have strategies and we dare and want to dream big.

“But we also understand that if we’re not in the present, if we’re not training hard every day, focused on the next game only, then there is no chance whatsoever that we will ever maybe reach these crazy dreams.”

Despite his lofty long-term ambitions, Frank’s immediate objective is to banish any lingering relegation fears.

The 48-year-old taskmaster is eager to ensure his players build on their headline-grabbing humbling of Thomas Tuchel’s European champions.

“We all know that winning football matches helps the mood and probably there was a smile or two more than normal (this week),” he said.

“Of course this game gave us a lot of confidence. It’s been a tough week, the way they’ve trained.

“My last message after the debrief before we went out training on Tuesday was make sure we train even harder this week, make sure we train at an even higher intensity if possible.

“We need to use it to push forward and consistently deliver good performances. But the quality in the training has been very, very good.

“I told them, ‘remember that I believe the level you show when you are confident is the true level’.

“We know there are a lot of things affecting that, so hopefully we can bring it into the game on Sunday.”

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