Five months after her Wembley grief, Brentford is 90 minutes away from yet another trip to the National Stadium.
The fact that this milestone for the club’s first major Cup semi-final was reached so soon after losing to Fulham in the championship play-off final speaks volumes about how Thomas Frank’s team are recovering from this disappointment in August Has.
With an unbeaten 15-game run in the championship, Brentford fans are already dreaming of the Premier League again, but the Carabao Cup has allowed the bees to compete against high-profile opponents earlier than expected.
The success they have had – knocking out four Premier League teams en route to today’s meeting with Tottenham – contributed, if anything, to the feeling of what could have been.
Circumstances may vary, but it doesn’t matter that Brentford has beaten more Premier League teams this season, including penalty shootouts, than Fulham, Sheffield United and West Brom combined.
« We missed automatic promotion by two points and lost in the play-off final. It shows that we are close and not far from being a Premier League team, « said midfielder Josh Dasilva, who believes last season’s experience has already been invaluable.
« Sometimes I joke with the guys in training when they get penalties and I say you can’t be nervous, you played in a play-off final!
« People lost the Champions League final and came back and won it. So it’s all about how we jump back and how we react. « »
In fact, less than 24 hours after Joe Bryan’s extension for Fulham at Wembley, the healing process began with a somber meeting at the club’s training ground on Jersey Road.
« I thought, no matter what, whether we win or lose, we have to meet the next day, » explained manager Thomas Frank. « Just five minutes to hug each other and say, ‘Have a nice short vacation’. Unfortunately it wasn’t with big smiles and celebrations.
« To me, I said I just had one bigger desire, more willpower, to turn it around and come back stronger. « »
The size of the task became apparent when Frank accepted that £ 60 million worth of talent was about to leave.
« We already knew by then that Ollie [Watkins] and Said [Benrahma] would most likely leave us if the price was right, » he said of the pair who scored 43 goals before them last season Aston Villa or. West Ham sold. « Some players had tears in their eyes because they loved being at this remarkable club. « »
Brentford’s famous Midas touch on the transfer market came to the rescue by not only replacing Watkins’ goals with those of current championship top scorer Ivan Toney, but also the less-announced signing of Vitaly Janelt from VfL Bochum, whose advertisements have meant that the injury-related absence of star midfielder Christian Norgaard was less noticeable.
There was also a strong determination that Watkins and Benrahma would be the only high profile departures. An attitude that Frank described as « crucial » in convincing his team of their potential to be as good or better this season.
« It gave me, my staff, and the remaining players additional faith, » said Frank. « We know this club has shown over the past four or five years that we keep adding shifts. What we say is what we actually do. « . That made the rest of the players and me and the staff feel like we could leave. « »
Brentford F. . C.. . , Tottenham Hotspur F. . C.. . , EFL Cup, EFL Championship, Josh Dasilva, West Ham United F. . C.. . , Thomas Frank, Premier League
World news – AU – Brentford believes Wembley is in sight ahead of the Tottenham Test
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