Read more Football League Football League blog Share via Email Reuse this content Share on LinkedIn Twitter Share on WhatsApp On Wednesday Smith returns to Griffin Park with Aston Villa, and Frank hopes Smith will be given a warm reception. But you still get the sense a victory would mean just a little bit more: he recently noted that football is “90% suffering, 10% joy”, but a win in this game would probably be in the top one per cent.“The feeling after the Stoke game [a 3-1 win in January], when we’d been through such a bad spell, we flipped it around for the perfect performance … wow. That 10%: you can’t get that feeling anywhere in the world.”Talking points• Despite being bottom of the Championship having lost 15 of 19 games in charge, Paul Lambert remains remarkably popular among the Ipswich support. He’s been smart about his relationship with fans, from attending supporters’ meetings to paying for travel for the recent trip to Blackburn. You’d imagine wading into a scrap with some Norwich players and getting himself sent off in Sunday’s East Anglia derby, despite the result going the way you’d expect, won’t hurt either. Twitter Frank looks a bit like Filippo Inzaghi, if he had spent his 20s in academia rather than riotously celebrating three-yard tap-ins. Actually that isn’t just a flippant line: Frank studied sports psychology before getting his first youth coaching jobs, eventually taking care of various Danish national team youth groups, before taking over as Brøndby head coach in 2013.His departure three years later is quite a story in itself. At the end of the 2016 season it emerged that the club’s chairman Jan Bech Andersen had been criticising Frank on a fans’ forum, under his son’s username. Frank promptly resigned. He pauses and sighs when asked about it, not wishing to pick at old scabs. “It’s one of those where it’s in the past. It was very, very unusual. He stepped over the line – I thought that was too disrespectful, so for me there was only one option.”That pause isn’t unusual: Frank is a thoughtful talker, carefully considering every answer, the sort of calm presence that could easily turn around a calamitous run when others might have panicked.“As a person I’m very open, very human-minded,” he says. “That’s one part: the other is I love details in football. I want to develop a style of play. I want to create a beautiful game but I’m very focused on how you can create a fantastic culture, a fantastic environment. I’m very happy I’m at a club who want to do both.”That’s the pro of managing at Brentford. The con is that you have to work with a squad that you know will, sooner or later, have its best players picked off, not just because that’s how modern football works but because it’s their business plan. Chris Mepham was the latest to be sold on at a profit, to Bournemouth in January, and realistically Frank knows players such as Ollie Watkins and Neal Maupay will follow soon.Frank concedes it’s not ideal. “But I know it’s part of the strategy and I buy into that. Part of my challenge is to always prepare the next player to come in. But that’s part of who we are. To earn the profit we have done in the last few years and still progress is unique. So far, we’ve been good at doing that.”Personality, as much as playing ability, is a big part of that. “It’s so important for us to have good people.” He pauses, and expresses concern about the Guardian’s language policy. “‘No dickheads’, only good people. It’s not because we don’t want personality, or an edge, but we want people who actually care.” Facebook Paul Lambert’s behaviour at Norwich, where he was ushered away by a police officer, will have done nothing to harm his popularity with Ipswich fans. Photograph: Tony O’brien/Action Images Share on Twitter Paul Scholes gets off to a flyer at Oldham with 4-1 win over Yeovil It’s been quite a few months for Thomas Frank since he took over as Brentford head coach. After being elevated to the top job in October after two years as Dean Smith’s assistant, he has overseen a run of eight defeats in 10 games, immediately followed by 10 unbeaten, in the middle of which came personal and professional bereavement.Frank had been in the job only a month when, as he was waiting at a leadership conference to meet his friend Rob Rowan, Brentford’s technical director, he got a call from the club’s co-director of football Phil Giles. Rowan had died in his sleep of what turned out to be heart failure. Topics Neal Maupay, left, and Ollie Watkins are expected to be among the next Brentford players to be sold. Photograph: TGSPhoto/Rex/Shutterstock Brentford Championship Pinterest features Share on Pinterest • Hopefully the response to Steve Bruce in his first home game as Sheffield Wednesday manager will dispel the idea that fans were particularly unhappy with his delayed start. “It was a bit bloody better than the last club I was at!” joked Bruce. As a cabbage was thrown at him at that club, that’s a low bar.• Luton appear not to have missed a beat since Nathan Jones’s departure for Stoke. Under Mick Harford they have won the past five games, scoring 14 goals, bringing their season total to 64 from 32 games. Not bad. Pinterest Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Facebook “It was devastating,” Frank says, quietly, recalling how he had to quickly find somewhere private to process his shock. “He was a very close friend. He was a guy who was very easy to like, because he was so open, so often smiling, but always with extremely high knowledge about football.”The two men talked about the future, knowing that wherever they would be in 10 years, they would probably still be friends. “I think we’re a very human club. Rob was a big part of that. We miss him. I have a picture of him on a shelf in my house so I remember him.”The brain is remarkable when it comes to dealing with things such as grief, but it still seems extraordinary when Frank reveals the meeting that has seemingly turned Brentford’s season around, after weeks of poor performances and bad results, came a week or so after Rowan’s death.“The key game was Sheffield United, we lost and gave away way too many chances. Everything had been building up and accumulating [in previous performances] but it was then we thought we needed to do something. Massively. We had a long meeting the day after. We said: ‘If we don’t step up now, we will get relegated.’”In that meeting Frank and his staff went back to basics, emphasising that the little things which had been allowed to slip would not be tolerated. “Not because they were always late, but now nobody can be late. When we take the gear from the training field in it has to be put right into the container not just dropped on the floor. It’s basics in life, like I teach my children to take their plate into the kitchen.” A few other things were tweaked, some key men returned from injury, a formation switch to 3-4-3 was implemented, and the 10-match run that has righted a floundering season followed before Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest. The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email.