11 Aug 2022

Thomas Frank does not believe Brentford will suffer from second-season syndrome

Thomas Frank does not believe Brentford will suffer from second-season syndrome

Thomas Frank does not believe Brentford will be struck down by second-season syndrome.

Brentford’s tally of 46 points last season was one more than the other two promoted teams – Watford (23) and Norwich (22) – combined as they finished a respectable 13th in their first Premier League campaign.

But in recent seasons, Huddersfield and Sheffield United have been relegated back to the Championship following impressive opening terms in the top flight.

Leeds only avoided the drop on the final day of last season having finished ninth on their top-flight comeback.

But speaking ahead of his side’s trip to Leicester – a club which stunned the sporting world by winning the Premier League in their second season back in the big time – Frank said: “In general, I don’t believe too much in second-season syndrome.

“It’s a narrative that’s been built. Our opponents on Sunday won the Premier League in their second season, so maybe that’s the one we should go for.

“Huddersfield’s underlying stats show that they were very lucky to stay in the league [in their first season], so I wasn’t surprised that they struggled the next year.

“We were not lucky to stay in the league last year, so there is a foundation we can build on.

“That can change with injuries and lack of form, but hopefully the things we do every day ensure that we’re in a constant fine place.”

The Bees will travel to the King Power Stadium to face a Leicester side who finished eighth last season, only narrowly missing out on a European spot.

But doubts remain over the futures of James Maddison and Youri Tielemans, while Kasper Schmeichel has joined Nice.

However, Frank believes Brendan Rodgers’ side have the firepower to fight at the top of the division.

He added: “Only Kasper Schmeichel has left the club. They still have Maddison, Tielemans, Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes – they are four top players in the Premier League, top players, and we need to be aware of them.

“They were unlucky with key injuries to Jonny Evans, Wesley Fofana and Vardy last season. If they have a fit and available squad, they have a team that will push at the very top of the league.

“We’ll do our very best to win. We’ll fight, we’ll be aggressive and we’ll attack on Sunday, 100 per cent.”

Ben Mee is in line to make his Brentford debut as he joined on a two-year deal after his contract with Burnley expired.

Kristoffer Ajer and Sergi Canos are both sidelined through injury, while Ethan Pinnock is out with a knee problem.

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