Frank hails ‘impatient’ Damsgaard after shock Brentford start


homas Frank has praised the resilience of Brentford midfielder Mikkel Damsgaard, admitting the summer signing had grown “impatient” at a lack of opportunities ahead of his unexpected start in last night’s 3-2 win over Fulham.

Damsgaard joined the Bees from Sampdoria in a deal worth around £12.6million last August and was immediately touted as a possible replacement for Christian Eriksen.

The 22-year-worn, though, has struggled to design an impact, with his only previous Premier League start coming against Bournemouth in October and involvement since the winter fracture limited to three brief substitute cameos, as well as an underwhelming display against West Ham in the FA Cup.

It was a surprise, then, when Frank named his countryman in the starting XI for Monday’s west London derby, ahead of the likes of Josh Dasilva and Vitaly Janelt, but the Brentford boss was rewarded with a fine performance.

“I gave him the opportunity because I consider he was ready for it,” Frank said. “He’s definitely been impatient, I’ve been impatient, but he deserves a lot of credit for his attitude and approach to the hard work, especially in the last two months after the World Cup.

Surprise start: Mikkel Damsgaard made the most of his Brentford chance against Fulham

/ Getty Images

“It’s the first step. There’s still quite a bit to add and to produce every week but I’m pleased.”

Damsgaard shot to prominence when starring for Denmark at Euro 2020, scoring a sensational free-kick in his country’s semi-final defeat by England, but then missed the majority of last season through injury before moving to west London in a bid to reboot his career.

“I’m so pleased for him,” Frank added. “He’s a player that we feel privileged we could design a deal with in the summer. The potential he showed in the Euros was huge.”

Meanwhile, Fulham boss Marco Silva was left frustrated by the award of the penalty which allowed Ivan Toney to establish Brentford 2-1 up early in the second half. Centre-back Issa Diop was the offender, shaping to clear but catching the foot of Christian Norgaard as the Dane nipped the ball away.

“I consider that penalty was a really harsh, harsh decision from the official,” Silva said. “In a derby like this one, normal derbies, they are really aggressive.

“If it’s a VAR decision, I can understand. For the referee to see the soft touch straight away is a huge surprise from me. Really harsh decision from the referee.”