Brentford manager Thomas Frank pulled no punches ahead of Tuesday night’s crunch Championship encounter with promotion rivals Leeds recently, saying the Whites “couldn’t pick a worse place to play [on] Tuesday night.”
Leeds have won just two of their previous 10 league fixtures, a run of form that has eroded their once considerable lead over the chasing pack in the play-off places.
In contrast, Brentford have picked up an impressive 20 points from a possible 30 over their last 10 games in the league to put the Bees just two points behind Leeds in the second automatic promotion spot.
With the two sides set to meet in a vital clash at Griffin Park tomorrow night, Bees boss Frank fired the first shot as he looked to ramp up the pressure on their opposition’s ailing promotion charge.
“We definitely have more momentum than Leeds right now,” he said (via the Yorkshire Evening Post).
“They play with an extreme intensity, higher than any other team in this division which we can only praise them for [and] everyone knows how much I respect Marcelo Bielsa and what he has done to build up Leeds as a club and as a team but they couldn’t pick a worse place to play Tuesday night.
“I am 100 per cent sure that they fear us going into this game but that is not to say that we are just going to win it. I promise you one thing, we will be absolutely at it and ready to attack.”
When asked whether the outcome of the clash could be season-defining, Frank took a more cautious approach.
“Of course it is a big game for various reasons,” said the 46-year-old.
“It is two of the best football sides in the division who I hope just want to go out and attack and create a top match. May the best team win.
“Is it going to be decisive for the season, I don’t think so. I think it is important for the team which gets the three points. We will do everything we can to get three points and we are very confident.”
While the pressure on Leeds from both a financial and expectation standpoint appears to be growing every week, Frank believes that Brentford’s relatively smaller stature as a club provides them with an advantage when it comes to handling pressure.
“Griffin Park is our fortress,” he said.
“Under the lights and with the fans behind us it is going to be a fantastic atmosphere. We can use it a lot if we win but if we lose it, it is not the end of the world.
“There is no doubt that there is more pressure on the other clubs up there from their supporters, the media, and their history but then there is the inside pressure to push on from ourselves which is the same as the other clubs.”
The match also has added intrigue after former cult favourite Pontus Jansson made the switch from Leeds to Brentford in the summer.
The towering Sweden international has missed the Bees’ previous four matches, but Frank delivered a positive update regarding his potential availability for the encounter.
“Everyone is fit and available,” said Frank.
“The only one is Pontus Jansson who we will take a call on in the morning. He was out on the grass today which is positive.”
Meanwhile, Whites boss Bielsa is adamant Leeds are still the force they were earlier in the season.
“I explained before what I think about the matches where we left points and there is no reason to continue explaining that. It’s not about that they don’t do anymore what they did before. The players are doing the same things they used to when we were in good moments.”