Brentford's Thomas Frank addresses pre-game talk about Leeds United fear, explains why Marcelo Bielsa's side are 'unique'

Brentford boss Thomas Frank laughed off suggestions that he had attempted mind games in the lead up to tonight's 1-1 draw with Leeds United, which he felt a fair result.

By Graham Smyth
Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 10:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 8:32 am

The Dane was quoted as saying Leeds would fear the Bees and added that they couldn't pick a worse venue than Griffin Park on Tuesday night, given their recent form.

But Leeds were well worth the point they earned, having fought back from going behind after a Kiko Casilla error. Liam Cooper's equaliser ensured a share of the spoils, but the Whites did dominate large spells and might have felt unlucky not to have taken more than a point home with them.

"I think it was a fair result," said Frank.

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"It was a 1-1 or maybe even a 0-0 game. A game of few chances for both teams in this game." It was a sentiment his opposite number Marcelo Bielsa shared, he too noted the scarcity of chances for either side in his post-match briefing with the media.

While Bielsa highlighted his side's bravery against a side with good attacking players, Frank pointed to the intensity of the individual battles all over the pitch and the unique way Leeds set up to defend against teams.

"We knew it would be a very intense game with two very good sides," he said.

"You could see the intensity in the duels, in the one v one situations and recovery runs. It was not the best well played game I think in general, but an intense game.

Liam Cooper's shot finding the net to give Leeds United a 1-1 draw against Thomas Frank's Brentford (Pic: Bruce Rollinson)

"I think one of the reasons [Brentford's forward line didn't click] is that Leeds do things very differently in this division. The way they press, it's nothing to do with intensity but of course that is good. Because they go to man to man and press and they do it constantly going towards the man. That makes you have no time on the ball or less time on the ball.

"A lot of teams maybe do a slight man to man and it's less intense. Normally they'll play more in a zonal so you'll always have time to find your passes. When we play against that we know we are extremely good. on our day. But today was very hard. We knew that going into the game. You could see when we had our goal kicks. It was man to man. If you do that then there is no reason to play which is why we kicked it long today.

"We tried to find solutions but that's why we didn't have the time to create enough. I think there is no doubt that Leeds concedes most of their goals on set-pieces and counters. In open play there is very, very few chances against them because they do it so differently to any other team. Of course they're well drilled, good played and all that but that's one of the biggest reasons."

Frank was complimentary of the Whites and joined the list of managers to dub them the Championship's best side.

And he played down his pre-match words about fear, claiming he had been taken out of context but adding that Leeds definitely respected his Bees team.

"I think they would say the same that it was a deserved point. I don't know, of course, but I think that they will think they got a point at a very difficult ground," he said.

"I don't do mind games. I think it was very well done by some of you journalists that took things out of context. I said that you know how much I admire Bielsa and I think Leeds are one of the best teams. But with all the history and their current form and what Bielsa said about us in the press, they think we're a very good team.

"Maybe they didn't fear us but I promise you they knew it would be a difficult task. They definitely respected us.

"Leeds we know are one of the teams that create the most chances and in two games against us they created very little. They dominate every single game in this division.