Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has waxed lyrical about Brentford head coach Thomas Frank, who should be “proud” of the work he has done with the Bees.
Palace and Brentford will meet each other on Saturday afternoon at the Gtech Community Stadium and, while Palace are coming off the back of a narrow defeat to last year’s runners-up Arsenal, Brentford have made an unbeaten start to the season after a 2-2 draw with Tottenham was followed up by a 3-0 demolition of Fulham.
Hodgson believes the partnership between Brentford’s owners and Frank has played a huge role in their upward trajectory in the English top flight.
He told a press conference: “As far as their (Brentford’s owners’) trump card was to find Thomas Frank and to get behind him, they have showed their faith in him and believed in what he does. And to give him the chance to put this team together and give him the type of players he’s asked for, to be able to play the type of football they want to play.
“They’ve reaped a very big reward for it, because not only did they get back into the Premier League, they’ve got into the top 10 of the Premier League already.”
Crystal Palace finished last season in strong form since Hodgson took the hotseat back at the club and have since strengthened by adding Jefferson Lerma and Brazilian teenager Matheus Franca to the squad.
Despite his praise of Saturday’s opposition, Hodgson has also drawn comparisons from their London neighbours to themselves.
He continued: “We are like the team you are mentioning, Brentford. We also have a similar team we’re proud of, that we think is good.
“We haven’t spent the sums of money that some teams around us have spent but it’s been a very well put-together team. We believe in the team and we believe in how we play and what we try to do.
“We believe that, throughout the course of the season, we’ll be able to consistently give the type of performances that we’ve given in the last two games, so I can therefore take some heart that it will help us each Saturday when it comes around.”
Brentford have made an impressive start to the season in front of goal, having scored five goals in their opening two games including three from Bryan Mbeumo and a couple from Yoane Wissa.
Last season’s club top scorer Ivan Toney will be out of action for several more months but Hodgson is impressed with the way they have managed to continue to score goals without their star striker.
He said: “To be able to shrug off the loss of a player so important as Ivan Toney is in itself an enormous strength and something I’m sure Thomas is proud of doing.”