Thomas Frank is taking inspiration from Sunday's opponents West Ham

Brentford manager Thomas Frank is taking inspiration from the consecutive continental semi-finals of Sunday’s opponents West Ham – as the Bees dream of Europe next season 

  • West Ham beat AZ Alkmaar 2-1 in Europa Conference League semi-final first-leg
  • Brentford bidding for European qualification just two years’ on from promotion
  • Thomas Frank admitted he looked up to West Ham as an inspirational club

Thomas Frank says West Ham’s exploits in the Europa Conference League have him dreaming of doing the same with Brentford one day.

The Bees have been in contention for European qualification this season and still maintain a very slim chance of doing so with three games left to play of the Premier League campaign.

Frank’s side face off against the Hammers on Sunday afternoon, who are in between their two Conference League semi-final legs having beaten AZ Alkmaar 2-1 at the London Stadium on Thursday.

And Frank says it is encouraging to see West Ham, who have otherwise endured a disappointing Premier League campaign, compete for European trophies after also making the Europa League semi-finals last season.

‘I think we all dream, and I think it’s fantastic to see them playing in Europe,’ Brentford boss Frank said.

Thomas Frank has admitted that he is taking inspiration from West Ham in his side’s European hunt

Brentford have been one of the surprise packages of the season – upsetting all before them

Moyes’ side have made a second consecutive European semi-final – and lead on aggregate 

‘It’s very nice and a good ambition for us. But I have to say, next season is a new season. We don’t know what will happen for us, or how we will look. We always try to add layers and do better.

‘But I think how people rated us before the season was not to have a chance to push for Europe, and now we’re in a situation where we’re talking about that quite a lot.

‘What will happen next season? I don’t know. But of course, I like to dream about that.’

Brentford have splashed out eight-digit sums on three players this season – Aaron Hickey, Keane Lewis-Potter and Mikkel Damsgaard – which will become four if Kevin Schade’s loan deal is made permanent in the summer.

Giorgio Furlani, the CEO of AC Milan, who are also in a European semi-final having been beaten by rivals Inter in the first leg of their Champions League tie, earlier this week claimed his club are being outbid on players by the likes of Brighton, Bournemouth and Frank’s Brentford.

And while Frank conceded that the lavish Premier League TV deal may help English clubs to thrive in Europe because of their financial advantages in some areas compared to European giants like Milan, he believes his side could continue to improve without the need to use that money to spend big.

Brentford won at the London Stadium earlier this season and will be hoping to repeat the trick at home

‘Obviously I don’t know exactly what examples he is using, or how big a wage bill they have compared to, let’s say, us or the others,’ Frank said in response to Furlani’s suggestion.

‘But I think it’s fair to say the TV deal is bigger here. I don’t know how much bigger it is compared to Italy, but probably a lot.

‘I think it’s like with any team. I think it’s important still to get a little bit of freshness in. If we get one or two players in it would be good.

‘I think we have had some very good signings that I think will get better.

‘But we have a good squad and hopefully if they can all add 5%, that adds up to a lot.’

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