Let me be Frank, I loved that first-half display
Brentford blew Derby away before half-time at Griffin Park.
Head coach Thomas Frank described his Brentford side’s first-half performance in the 3-0 mauling of Derby as the best in his three years at the club.
Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins put the Bees in control early on before the latter made it three heading into half-time.
“It clicked in terms of creating opportunities and giving zero things away. We played so quickly with intensity and tempo that Derby couldn’t get in the game,” said Frank.
“Those aspects of our play are easier to talk about after a 3-0 win than the 1-0 defeat to Birmingham where we created even more chances. But we were really good and that made it very difficult for Derby.”
Frank insists there is a lot more to come from his young Brentford side, saying: “This new team needs time and there are still things we can do to reach maximum performances but that was the best 45 minutes I’ve seen in my time here.
“We could have killed it off in the second half – we had five or six situations where better decision-making should have led to goals. Ollie Watkins could have had a hat-trick and you don’t get many chances for those, but he is on a scoring streak now which will do his confidence good.”
Frank singled out Watkins, Pontus Jansson and Sergi Canos for special praise, but hailed the role of Danish defender Henrik Dalsgaard as being pivotal in the win.
He said: “What he gives the team cannot be underestimated. He played in a new position at centre-back today, took the ball forward, won all his duels and shared his experience. He is fresh this season and has a very important part to play in our side.
“We said at half-time that we couldn’t take our foot off the gas and we didn’t.”
Derby boss Phillip Cocu admitted he was surprised and “ashamed” by his side’s attitude as they slipped to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Brentford.
An Ollie Watkins brace and a Bryan Mbeumo strike saw the Bees three up at the break after a first half capitulation that the Dutchman admitted he didn’t see coming.
“It really surprised me because how we played in the first half came out of nowhere. I have not seen this from my team before,” he said.
“We knew it was big game and we wanted a good result before the break, but our mentality and attitude compared to Brentford’s was so different.”
Derby’s travelling fans, who saw their side fail to manage a single shot on target, booed their side off at the break.
Cocu conceded: “We have to be ashamed of that first half – I understand they are very disappointed, and I don’t blame them. There is a lot of work to be done over the international break.
“In the first 40 minutes, there was such a big difference between Brentford and my team which was a disappointment. When the goals come it’s not about how we concede, it’s about how we start again.”
He added: “That was definitely the worst performance in my time here. We know that every game is tough home and away, so it starts with good attitude and mentality as a team but by the second half it is far too late.”
Cocu had a “tough discussion” with his side at the interval and saw a reaction in the second half but admitted: “If you don’t have the right attitude for the whole game you cannot play football because it’s an important combination.”