Brentford manager Thomas Frank believes that stumbling Leeds will fear coming to the cauldron that will be Griffin Park on Tuesday night – and that in the heat of the Championship title race, it is his rival teams that are feeling the pressure. Frank’s buoyant young team go into the knife-edge clash with only two defeats in their last 11 games, and lurking only two points behind Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
By stark contrast, Leeds’ 2-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest on Saturday made it four losses in their last five games – and a collapse like the one Bielsa’s team suffered last year, when they began to crumble in the New Year after dominating in the first half of the season, looks ominously on the cards.
Frank, whose famed ‘BMW’ forward line of Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins have rattled in 40 goals between already this season, said: “I’m 100 per cent sure Leeds fear us going into this game.
“We definitely have more momentum than Leeds right now. Everybody knows how much I respect Bielsa, and what they’ve done and how they’ve put Leeds up there as a club and as a team, as potentially the best in this division.
“But there’s no doubt they couldn’t pick a worse place to play tonight.”
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Frank believes that all the pressure is right now on Leeds, because of the Yorkshire giants’ illustrious history, their spending power, and their level of support.
The Dane added: “We know Leeds is a club with a lot of pressure. It will be a massive, massive blow to Leeds fans if they don’t go up this year. That’s just the truth, a simple fact. They dream, hope and want to be back in the Premier League, where they belong.”
But Frank believes that pressure applies also to the other clubs in the fight – West Brom, Fulham and Nottingham Forest – all in recent years top flight clubs. The pressure is greater than for the Bees, who were last among the English games’ elite in 1947.
He said: “For other clubs up there, the pressure is so much bigger. From supporters, the media and with the history of the clubs.
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“The pressure we put on ourselves to perform is as big as in the other clubs, but the outside pressure is so much bigger for them. I don’t think that has advantages for them.
“Teams fears us because we are in a good place – and we are a good team. Our front three is on a good run and at this moment in time are better than the front three at Leeds.
“Also because we are playing at Griffin Park. It is a very intimate stadium, very hostile, the pitch is very close to the fans.”