Thomas Frank paints Brentford as underdogs against 'slightly bigger budget' Leeds United and 'big inspiration' Marcelo Bielsa

Thomas Frank says Brentford hope to make an even match of Sunday's clash against a Leeds United side led by 'one of the greatest' in Marcelo Bielsa.

By Graham Smyth
Friday, 3rd December 2021, 4:24 pm

The Bees boss is still getting over the disappointment of seeing his men lose to Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night but speaking on Friday afternoon was keen to keep the result in its context.

A 12th-minute own goal from Sergi Canos gave Spurs the lead at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before Son Heung-min finished off a second half counter-attack. Frank said after the game that his team's efforts pleased him and made doubly sure they were aware of it when he spoke to them earlier today.

"I said to them I am so pleased we are so disappointed," he said.

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"My body is still burning after we lose but we need to put things into perspective. There's a reason why they were talking about Harry Kane being sold for I don't know how many millions of millions of millions to Man City.

"What I think is very important is I love our approach, I love that we try to go toe-to-toe. The key moments in the game are what we need to learn from so we can go forward."

There's little time for 12th-placed Brentford to lick their wounds, with a visit to Elland Road to make on Sunday. Leeds sit 15th, a point behind Frank's side and would appear to make a more natural rival than Antonio Conte's Champions League hopefuls Spurs but Frank, like Bielsa, says the game in front of him is always the biggest and most significant. What's more, he suggests that Brentford are the underdogs for this one too.

"The next game is always the most important game, if that's against Leeds, Man City, Norwich, Watford, Arsenal, I don't care, it's always the next game," he said.

BIG INSPIRATION - Brentford boss Thomas Frank says Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa is 'one of the greatest.' Pic: Getty

"I agree about them being a newly promoted club, I still think [they are] slightly bigger because their history, their budget [is] slightly bigger if you look at the players they've bought, slightly bigger. But on Sunday hopefully we do everything we can to make it an even match."

Frank led Brentford to the 2020 Championship play-off final having finished third to Bielsa's champions but lost out to Fulham. Last season the Bees once again ended the season in third position but this time joined Leeds in the top flight with a play-off final win over Swansea.

Sunday brings a fourth battle between the Dane and Leeds' Argentine head coach. Frank won their first ever meeting 2-0 in April 2109, Bielsa the second 1-0 in August of that year and their teams drew 1-1 at Griffin Park in February 2020.

Frank is another top tier coach who puts Bielsa on a pedestal, having admired him for years.

"Bielsa was my big inspiration," he said.

"The first time I looked at his teams was in 2008 for Chile. He is one of the greatest."