Thomas Frank believes Brentford’s 3-0 loss at Manchester United earlier this week is merely a blip and not an indicator that the Bees are running out of steam.
Brentford collected three wins and a draw in their four matches before visiting Old Trafford to reach the 40-point barrier that is widely interpreted as the barometer for Premier League survival.
A second successive season in the top-flight is not guaranteed and they were brushed aside by United on Monday as strikes from Bruno Fernandes and Raphael Varane sandwiched Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty.
Frank, though, is unconcerned and insisted their levels in training remain on point ahead of the visit on Saturday of Southampton, who triumphed 4-1 when the sides met at St Mary’s in January.
“We learned a lot from that game; Southampton were better and won fair and square,” the Brentford head coach told a press conference.
“I expect that we put a better performance. (Ralph Hasenhuttl) is a brilliant manager and they have done very well again this season.
“I watch the players every day in training and look at the numbers, so I have no worries about them dropping off.
“We didn’t perform to our best against Manchester United but our output was remarkable again. We need to be aggressive, cool, and brave and bounce back with a top performance.”
Frank, who confirmed Brentford will once again be without defender Ethan Pinnock and winger Sergi Canos because of hamstring injuries, is wary of the threat posed by Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse.
The England midfielder is reportedly attracting admiring glances from both Manchester clubs as well as Tottenham while his prowess from dead-ball situations is well-known to Frank.
“We’ve prepared for it,” Frank said. “I think right now he is maybe the best free-kick taker in the world. He’s scored nine goals with five assists this season which is remarkable for a midfielder.
“I understand why the top six are circling.”