Frank: Chelsea loss ‘important’ after players ‘struggled’ in return game

Brentford boss Thomas Frank has insisted that their loss to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals was “important” as they used it to “get up to speed”.

The Bees conceded two late goals as they were beaten by Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night.

Frank was pleased to be back in action as Brentford recently had two games postponed due to Covid-19.

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“I think the game was very important for us to get up to speed,” said Frank, whose side travel to Brighton on Boxing Day.

“After six days where we couldn’t train – yes they were running but it’s not the same – you saw the impact of that when training (resumed).

“There were quite a few of the players that didn’t feel that fresh and were struggling in certain spells.

“They got through it because it was only six days but now the system just got that boost and they will be ready to go on Boxing Day.”

The game on Sunday will be Brentford’s first league outing in 16 days after games against Manchester United and Southampton were called off following Covid-19 outbreaks at clubs.

Frank has confirmed there have been no new positive cases among his squad this week.

He said: “We had the 13 (last week), then on Saturday one (more). Since then none, so all negative.”

Frank is hopeful main striker Ivan Toney will be ready to start at the Amex Stadium.

The 25-year-old, who has scored five goals this season, returned as a second-half substitute against Chelsea having been one of the players to have contracted the virus.

Speaking at a press conference, Frank said: “Let’s see, but it’s no secret that if he’s fit and available I would like to start him and try to play him as many minutes as possible.”

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