Brentford boss Thomas Frank doesn’t take Port Vale lightly

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Brentford head coach Thomas Frank has no plans to field a weakened squad for a ‘tricky’ FA Cup third round game at Port Vale despite the Bees’ busy schedule ahead.

A trip to Vale on Saturday afternoon marks the start of five fixtures in 15 days for Brentford, whose opponents are expected to include Southampton and Manchester United after postponements in December due to coronavirus outbreaks.

However, Frank, whose Premier League side were denied a place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals for a second consecutive season after losing to Chelsea last month, insisted he was not neglecting not the League Two Valiants.

Port Vale may not have played for almost a month due to Covid issues, but Frank is full of admiration for Darrell Clarke’s side, despite 62 league spots separating the teams.

Frank said: “We really respect Port Vale, a good team that is doing well in League Two. I’m going to put a strong team there, a strong team to travel because I believe in keeping the momentum. We would love to do a cup race.

“I’m thinking about the next game, now it’s the FA Cup game against Port Vale, we have to do everything we can to win and concentrate as much as possible. After that, it’s the next game against Southampton. I like it. to win, I want to win.

“I’ve heard that playing away from Port Vale is tricky, it’s tricky terrain and will be lively. Hope we have a very fantastic cup atmosphere. We’re ready, we know how they like to play and try to attack. We will be ready.

“I’m 100% sure Darrell Clarke will put his stronger side on because they got hit by Covid and then saw a lot of other games postponed because other teams have Covid. He needs a game with his starting XI that we can’t wait to face.

Winger Sergi Canos and midfielder Mathias Jenson are expected to miss once again with hamstring and hip problems respectively, but Frank is optimistic the pair could be available to face the Saints in the top flight on Tuesday. .

Frank, who could welcome French forward Bryan Mbeumo again following a calf complaint, recalled the fluctuating fortunes of Brentford and Port Vale, who met in Ligue 2 in 2008-09 and the League 1 in 2013-14.

Frank said: “We’re not even six months away from our first Premier League season, but that only puts things in perspective. We’re in the Premier League, Port Vale is in League Two, we have to recognize that we have done so well.

“Sometimes it’s clearer when we play cup tournaments.”


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