Brentford boss Thomas Frank believes United are yet to "hit highest level"
Brentford manager Thomas Frank believes Manchester United are yet to “hit their highest level” under Ralf Rangnick.
Manchester United travel to the Brentford Community Stadium to face the promoted Bees, in a rearranged Premier League clash.
Our first Premier League trip against Frank’s men was originally scheduled for 14 December, but the game was postponed following a Covid-19 outbreak within the Reds’ squad.
Brentford come into the clash after back-to-back Premier League defeats against Southampton and Liverpool, which saw Frank’s side concede seven goals.
United have picked up 11 points from Rangnick’s six Premier League games in charge of the Reds and speaking at his pre-match press conference, Frank gave an analysis of the German’s start to life at Old Trafford, and the team’s ability to implement his aggressive pressing style
Speaking via the club’s official website Frank said: “Manchester United have done fine under Ralf Rangnick. We know his philosophy from his time with Red Bull Leipzig.
“He is trying to implement it with them and make them a more aggressive team. I don’t think they have hit their highest level when it comes to that to be fair.”
Ahead of playing against “one of the biggest clubs in the world”, Frank was in awe of the wealth of “unbelievable players” Manchester United possess.
Frank added: “They could have Ronaldo and [Edinson] Cavani, two of the best strikers in the world, [Bruno] Fernandes, who has been one of the best offensive players in the Premier League over the last 18 months, [Marcus] Rashford, [Mason] Greenwood, and [Jadon] Sancho, who are three young promising players for England.
“I could name the whole team. They then have [Harry] Maguire and [Raphael] Varane, who, when he was in La Liga, was one of the best centre-backs.
“It is an unbelievable team we are going to face.”
Despite enduring a difficult season which has seen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer get sacked and a title challenge fail to materialise, following a summer transfer window that brought so much optimism, Frank is more than aware of the challenge his side face.
Frank continued: “On their day they can produce magic out of nothing. Against Aston Villa, Fernandes created two chances out of nothing.
“When Ronaldo has played, he has produced chances and goals. I don’t know if there’s a good time to play them.
“I am aware that they are not performing as high as the top three but, on their day, they have all the quality to do so.”
Playing against a side packed with world class stars, Frank is hoping his side and the fans rise to the occasion, and “create another magic moment in Brentford’s history”.
Thomas Frank said: “I expect us to come out with a performance. I will do my best to have a team that comes out aggressive and plays with intensity.
“Our fans need to be bang on it; I hope we can create another magic moment in Brentford’s history. That’s our aim.”
One aspect of the game that Frank is hoping his side can get the better of United in is set-pieces. In Ivan Toney (4.8) and Ethan Pinnock (4.5), the Bees have two players who currently sit in the Premier League’s top four, for the average number of aerial duels won per game, according to WhoScored.
Speaking on the importance of set-pieces, Frank said: “It’s an area where it is more even ground. Player by player Manchester United are, on paper, a way better team than us.
“They have world class players but set-pieces is the area where we need to 100 per cent compete better.”
The 48-year-old also confirmed that “everyone who was fit” for Sunday’s defeat at Anfield was “available” for tonight’s clash.
Rangnick has also provided a fitness update, and he is hoping that Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford are both fit enough to feature after missing Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Aston Villa.
- Bruno Fernandes upstages Cristiano Ronaldo in World Cup win v Uruguay
- Manchester United star admits he's not yet physically 100% fit; hopes to build up fitness during World Cup
- Neymar hails Manchester United star as 'best in the world'
- Flying Manchester United loanee’s season plunged into fresh uncertainty
- Photos: Brazil legends react to Casemiro goal against Switzerland