Brentford manager Thomas Frank is confident a League Cup defeat by Chelsea will benefit his side in the long run.
The Bees’ bid to reach the last four foundered when they conceded two goals in the last 10 minutes of a 2-0 loss to their west London rivals on Wednesday.
But after Brentford had seen two Premier League matches postponed for coronavirus-related reasons, Frank was glad to see his team back on the field again.
“I think the game was very important for us to get up to speed,” said Frank, whose side travel to Brighton on Sunday.
“After six days where we couldn’t train — yes they were running but it’s not the same — you saw the impact of that when training (resumed).
The Dane added: “There were quite a few of the players that didn’t feel that fresh and were struggling in certain spells.
“They got through it because it was only six days but now the system just got that boost and they will be ready to go on Boxing Day (December 26).”
Sunday’s match will be Brentford’s first league fixture in 16 days after games against Manchester United and Southampton were called off following Covid-19 outbreaks at clubs.
Frank, however, said Thursday there had been no new positive cases among his squad this week.
“We had the 13 (last week), then on Saturday one (more). Since then none, so all negative,” he explained.
Turning to this weekend’s team, Frank hopes to have key striker Ivan Toney available to start against Brighton.
The 25-year-old, who has scored five goals this season, came on as a second-half substitute against Chelsea having been one of the Brentford players to have contracted the virus.
“Let’s see, but it’s no secret that if he’s fit and available I would like to start him and try to play him as many minutes as possible,” said Frank of Toney.