Thomas Frank insists Brentford will be giving it their all against Leeds on the final day of the season – but could not resist a joke about the possibility of playing the Bees’ B team.
The west London side host Leeds in what is a particular big day for the Yorkshire club. Sitting just a point above the drop zone, they need the points to retain their Premier League status. Also sweating over their futures are Everton and Burnley, who too could also go down.
The Clarets currently occupy the final relegation place in 18th. They, however, take on Aston Villa on Thursday knowing a point will see them trade places with Leeds going into the final day.
Everton, meanwhile, can spare themselves from last day nerves with a win over Crystal Palace at Goodison on Thursday.
But it is the match at the Brentford Community Stadium which will probably have most of the attention. Leeds have a bit of a recent history with the Bees, with the two sides going toe-to-toe for promotion over a couple of seasons.
When Leeds did make it up, at Brentford’s expense, some Leeds players could not resist a dig at Frank over their failure.
Brentford of course did make it up the season after and now Sunday’s match grants Frank the chance to exact revenge.
However, Frank insists he pays no attention to what has happened in the past. Furthermore, he insists he will be going all out for a win that could secure Brentford an impressive top-half finish.
He said sarcastically in a question about letting Leeds have it easy: “No, I think we will put the B Team out! We will put our very best team out there – it’s so important to understand we need to do our very best to win.
“It is nothing about Everton, Burnley or Leeds and I know in my press conference I will get a lot of questions between the story about me and ‘so-called’ Leeds fans and a video, but there is no story there from my perspective.
Brentford aiming for top-half finish
“Everyone will do our best to try and win on Sunday, and if Brentford can finish top 10, that’s remarkable. As far as I know, there is a fair quid to gain if you finish higher, for the Club.”
One player Leeds will, of course have to be wary of, is the very excellent Christian Eriksen. He has spoken out on his future once again of late.
Frank, though, knows what is at stake for his side and added: “It’s very simple; maybe after 10 years in the Premier League you don’t care if you finish 11th or 9th but for us, every game is a cup final.”
Frank has also come clean on the back story surrounding the beef with Leeds stars. And he says that, at the time, his comments were misunderstood.
“In the Championship two years ago, I’m normally very transparent and honest, and I don’t do mind games. By mistake, I said they [Leeds] will fear coming to Griffin Park – that’s what I said.
“That’s the only thing I said [two years ago], since then I haven’t said anything bad. I think Leeds is one of the biggest clubs in the country; they should be in the Premier League with the story and the history.
“I think they’ve done remarkable. Of course, I can’t say that I want them more than Everton or Burnley, the three of them need to fight for it [survival] and we’ll say who’ll be there [Premier League next season].”
Thomas Frank would love to send Leeds down
Although he denies it, Thomas Frank would surely love to send Leeds down.
The two sides do have something of a recent history, even if the Dane denies it.
That said, he is of course staying professional and even doing his best to play down the historical comments he made.
Of course, it’s all about maintaining the integrity of the Premier League too The team that finishes 18th will deserve to go down; if that falls upon Leeds then it is because that is where they deserve to finish.
It’s also absolutely true of Burnley and Everton, too.
Whoever does go down will face up to life back in the Championship and a vastly-reduced income.
Sunday will be a nervous day for all concerned given everything that is at stake.