Brentford manager Thomas Frank believes that Martin O’Neill was appointed by Nottingham Forest to improve their promotion chances.
That was the message from the Bees boss when he spoke to the official website, ahead of the Championship contest this weekend.
O’Neill hasn’t got off to the best start at the City Ground, winning just one of his three games in charge so far. If the Reds continue to drop points, the gap between themselves and the play-offs will only increase.
It doesn’t get much easier this weekend. In the last nine meetings between the two sides, Forest have only picked up one win against Brentford. The Bees have also won on their last four visits to the City Ground.
However, Bees boss Frank was full of praise for O’Neill’s side. He believes that the Reds will prove to be difficult opposition.
He said: “Nottingham Forest are a top club. They are one of the biggest in the country, with a known history.
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“We know they have big ambitions to get to the Premier League. That is why they have changed manager to Martin O’Neill. He is a legend for the club and a legend in this country, as a coach and as a player.
“They will do everything they can to push for the play-offs. We have respect for them and they will be another big test for us.”
A lot has changed since the sides last met
It’s fair to say a lot has changed at both clubs since they last met in September. The Bees got the better of Aitor Karanka’s side that day, condemning the Reds to their first defeat of the season. Goals from Lewis Macleod and Ollie Watkins ensured the home side secured all three points.
Since then, O’Neill has replaced Karanka at the City Ground, whilst Frank has replaced Dean Smith at Griffin Park. However, Frank was Brentford’s assistant manager when the sides last met and subsequently might have a slight advantage over O’Neill in terms of preparation for this game.
Due to Forest’s managerial change, Frank believes they will be a very different team to the one the Bees faced back in September.
He said: “One thing that I will say is that they are still a very good football side. They want to, when they can, dominate the game.
“There are some slight changes from then (when the sides last met) to now. They will be putting more crosses into the box. So we will need to be aware of that.
“That will fit perfectly with us being more focused and aware on our defensive side of the game.”