Brentford FC

‘Brentford Have Adapted Really Quickly’

Leicester City’s next Premier League opponents, Brentford, deserve praise for a fantastic start to their maiden top-flight campaign, says Phil Parry of BBC Radio London.
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- Brentford host Leicester City in the Premier League on Sunday
- The action comes from Brentford Community Stadium (2pm kick-off)
- BBC Radio London’s Phil Parry previewed the fixture with LCFC TV
- He provided an insight into the home side’s impressive start to 2021/22

The Foxes are making the trip south to face the Bees at Brentford Community Stadium on Sunday with just one point between the teams heading into matchday nine.

Although beaten 1-0 by Chelsea last time out, Premier League newcomers Brentford claimed plaudits for a fantastic performance against their London rivals and the current Champions League holders. It was only their second reverse this term, with the other defeat also by a one-goal margin, against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Victories, on the other hand, have come against Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United, while a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Liverpool was further evidence that the west Londoners are more than holding their own in the top division of English football, according to Parry.

“They’ve adapted really quickly to the Premier League,” he told LCFC TV. “The way that they go about playing their football, and the confidence and momentum they had, possibly helped.

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Thomas Frank
Thomas Frank

Bees manager Thomas Frank has presided over a hugely successful spell at the London club.

“If you look at the two defeats they’ve suffered, both have come in games that they could have got something out of. A draw would have been deserved against Brighton.

“Then in the last 20 minutes against Chelsea, with the performance that [Edouard] Mendy put in, getting something out of that match wouldn’t have looked out of place, but we saw Chelsea’s quality.

“What Brentford are doing is staying in games, being competitive, pressing when they need to press and they are not daunted by the opponents. Their only defeats have come at home.

"Away from home, which can be a concern for new teams and how they can fare on their travels, they have been really positive. It’s been a really good start to the season.”

Brentford’s notable start to the campaign has not come as a shock to Parry, who has followed the Bees closely during their recent rise and promotion from the Championship.

He’s always been more than just a goalscorer. He was also top of the assists list last season, as well as all the goals he scored, because of the way he plays.

Phil Parry on Ivan Toney BBC Radio London

He continued: “I think there was quiet confidence. When you looked at the list of games that were upcoming, there was maybe an immediate challenge – three games at home against Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea.

“To get four points from those three games is really good going. The Arsenal game was a perfect way to start. The atmosphere on that occasion was stunning and really positive. It’s pleasant but not overly surprising.

“Having seen the development and how well coached they have been over the last few years and how Thomas [Frank] and his coaching staff have approached preparing the team, with the physical elements of it, as well as the skill elements that they’ve got.

“Last year, they played six Premier League teams, including Leicester in the FA Cup, and five teams in the League Cup and they won four of those games. They pushed Spurs close in the semi-final as well. I think the fear of what it might be like to play Premier League teams maybe wasn’t as prevalent as it may have been without that experience last season.”

Leading marksman Ivan Toney scored 33 goals for the club in all competitions last season and has already adjusted to playing in the top flight for the first time, finding the net on two occasions.

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Ivan Toney
Ivan Toney

Toney’s first-ever Premier League goal came away at Aston Villa in a 1-1 draw at Villa Park in August.

Parry has been impressed with his all-round game to back-up his goalscoring exploits, as well as the added bonus of other players contributing at the top end of the pitch.

“There was a lot of attention on Ivan Toney because he got so many goals last season and he was going to be a focus,” the broadcaster added. “But he’s always been more than just a goalscorer. He was also top of the assists list last season, as well as all the goals he scored, because of the way he plays.

“Chipping in with goals from elsewhere has been important. It’s been interesting to see that Bryan Mbeumo scored recently, Yoane Wissa has come in and found the back of the net, Sergi Canos got the opening goal of the Premier League season against Liverpool. Even Christian Nørgaard chipped in as well with his first league goal for Brentford.

“We’re still waiting for the defenders, because they do have some weaponry from set pieces with the likes of Pontus Jansson - who has never scored for the club - and Ethan Pinnock, who can be a nuisance inside the opposition’s 18-yard box.

“It’s about being clinical, and it’s a good thing that Toney will take his chances. Mbeumo, who had a couple of good opportunities on Saturday, like he did against Brighton, is maybe still on a learning process, but they are creating chances and they’re taking them, that’s important.

“There was going to be a lot of pressure on Toney, but the fact that others have chipped in takes that pressure off him and means that he’s not the only goalscorer in the team that they are reliant on.”

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