Brentford

Brentford wobbling after taking the Premier League by storm

By Sean Walsh
Thomas Frank's side are on a terrible run
Thomas Frank's side are on a terrible run / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages
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From Brentford Community Stadium - Four successive Premier League defeats Brentford? Four? That's insane.

Autumn has not been kind to the Bees. After impressing the world with an opening night win against Arsenal, going toe-to-toe with Liverpool to earn a 3-3 draw and beating David Moyes' West Ham in the last minute, Thomas Frank's side have gone into a tailspin.

It's a run that's slowly crept up on them, in fairness. If not for Edouard Mendy turning into Doc Oc, Brentford would have drawn with or beaten Chelsea. They were hit with a James Maddison sucker punch against Leicester. But after giving Burnley and Norwich their first wins of the season - which may turn out to be a pair of six-pointers - the Bees are facing their first real signs of trouble as a Premier League club.

Brentford could enter the international break as low as 16th and now only four points above the relegation zone. And yet Thomas Frank is defiant that they will be fine, that this is a matter of bad results and not bad performances.

"Of course they [the players] are irritated. There's no smiles," he said after the 2-1 defeat to Norwich on Saturday. "But we've been quite consistent in terms of focusing on performances and doing the same [thing], and that's why we will be fine."

When asked if it will be difficult for a group that isn't used to losing games to pick themselves up, Frank did admit that it's a new challenge, but Brentford are still playing well and don't need to find 'another level' in order to return to winning ways.

"This year we will get out of this patch of four games that we have lost. I'm not in doubt of that," he added. "But I agree with you, it's a new feeling with this group of players because in the last three years more or less, we've not won everything but we've won a lot. 

"I don't think it's a problem. If you look against performances, you can't have the [opposition] goalkeeper saving the ball with their head every single time.

"The way we perform, the way the situations we created in that aspect, we are more than fine. I don't think we need to find another level because if you perform like this then we have the level. It's just about 'keep going', and I have no doubt we have the level."

Thomas Frank
Frank is remaining calm / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Injuries to key players in recent weeks certainly haven't helped a squad that was fairly thin in terms of experience to begin with. Summer signing Kristoffer Ajer could be out until the new year, Josh Dasilva is still some way from returning, Zanka went off injured after 10 minutes against Norwich. Vitaly Janelt looked woefully unfit in Saturday's loss too.

Four games is a small sample size, particularly for a team that's only ever played 11 Premier League fixtures. That's reason enough not for Brentford to panic. It's a wobble, but the upcoming festive period will be a lot more telling in deciding their fate this season.

Brentford's strength as an unknown quantity at this level is also their weakness - the team that bullied the big boys are the same as the one that have lost four straight - and while Frank is adamant that the situation is under control, they're about to find out together what pressure in the Premier League looks and feels like.

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