Brentford reach play-off final: Thomas Frank enjoys ‘magical’ Griffin Park farewell in Swansea play-off semi-final win

Brentford reach play-off final: Thomas Frank enjoys 'magical' Griffin Park farewell in Swansea play-off semi-final win

Thomas Frank took charge of Brentford in October 2018 following Dean Smith’s departure to Aston Villa

Brentford’s victorious Championship play-off semi-final victory over Swansea, to end 116 years of football at Griffin Park, was a “magical moment” for head coach Thomas Frank.

The Bees, trailing 1-0 from the first leg, produced a superb performance to win 3-1 on the night, 3-2 on aggregate.

Now a Wembley final awaits against Fulham or Cardiff before next season’s move to a new 17,250-capacity stadium.

“It was the way we did it, the approach,” Frank told BBC Radio London.

“I always speak about attitude, hard work and togetherness, and if you do all of those three things, you get a top performance.

“To be able to finish off at Griffin Park with a magical moment [was always the aim] and it was a really magical moment.”

Ollie Watkins and Emiliano Marcondes settled nerves with goals inside the first quarter of an hour to overturn the first-leg deficit.

Bryan Mbeumo volleyed in a spectacular third just after the break to establish a cushion that was enough for Brentford, despite Rhian Brewster pouncing on a Pontus Jansson error to give Swansea hope.

Brentford went into the match having lost their three previous games, the first two of which saw them miss out on promotion.

And, having also lost five play-off semi-finals and three play-off finals in the past, Frank was pleased with his side’s character and composure to put the setbacks and weight of history behind them.

“The mentality of this team is impressive, the way they are growing,” the Dane added. “Also, it is not like we are having 11 32-year-old players who have tried everything. There are a lot of young lads and a few experienced ones who help.

“The way they developed to be a top defensive side and love to defend as a team is very impressive.

“We knew it was an important game but we knew we had to defend against West Brom when we were leading 1-0, or Preston. We have a lot of good experience at the back that we can rely on. Hopefully that can also help us in the final.”

The move to the Brentford Community Stadium for next season could still be made as a Premier League club, with the Bees now one game away from a place in the top flight for the first time since 1947.

The prospect of west London rivals Fulham or Cardiff awaits the Bees at Wembley on Tuesday, 4 August – having taken 10 of a possible 12 points from those two sides in the regular season.

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