Thomas Frank has apologized to Brentford supporters who traveled the 140 miles round trip to Southampton on Tuesday night to watch their team lose 4-1 – and thinks his Bees team has to be more turned on during games.
The west Londoners surrendered two goals in each half to fall to 13th in the Premier League rankings – their third defeat in four outings.
Despite losing 4-1 to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, Danish manager Frank was certain that Southampton ‘didn’t create anything’ in the encounter, but said his team were punished for a lack of attention.
‘First and foremost, I want to thank our fans for making the trip down here,’ Frank told the Brentford media channel. ‘(It was a) complete complement of assistance, maximum capacity, fully occupied. I’m sorry we weren’t able to do better.
‘A significant factor in a Premier League game is that if we are not completely focused on the task at hand for every second, we will be in problem or can be in danger. And today we were severely punished.
‘Southampton were somewhat more alert than us, but not nearly as hazardous. They contributed nothing to the open game.’
Hasenhuttl’s Saints seized the lead early on when James Ward-Prowse crossed the ball in for Jan Bednarek to head home the opening.
Brentford rallied well when Vitaly Janelt scored midway through the first half, but Ibrahima Diallo’s long-range drive deflected off the post and into the net via goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez for an own goal just before the interval.
With the Bees pressing for an equaliser in the second half, Saints attacker Armando Broja scored a solo goal on the counter-attack before Che Adams added a fourth goal to seal the victory.
Frank admitted that he and his players will ‘search inside’ to find a solution to their recent setback, but maintained that they were still on a par with Southampton on Tuesday night.
‘A lot of it has to do with the goals’ timings,’ Frank noted. ‘They scored four goals on five opportunities, two of which were unavoidable.
‘So, in general, we ought to give it our all. We must look within, and I must look within. The players must improve their ball control and second ball accuracy.’
‘I believe there is a great deal to be learned from this game. Southampton is a seasoned Premier League outfit. I believe we were more evenly matched than we shown today. That is why it is so difficult and discouraging. However, we cannot assert that there was a significant change today.’