The Sentinel - - FOOTBALL -

BRENT­FORD boss Thomas Frank has de­fended Gary Rowett’s record as Stoke City man­ager… and tipped Nathan Jones to even­tu­ally get the Pot­ters “back on track”. Frank was talk­ing in the af­ter­math of his team’s 3-1 vic­tory at Grif­fin Park on Jones’ first day in the Stoke dug-out. Two early goals - the first put in his own net by Stoke skip­per Ryan Shawcross - gave the Bees the asen­dancy. Even when Benik Afobe re­sponded in style for the Pot­ters soon after, it was only rais­ing false hope for the near 1,600 away fans as Brent­ford re­peadly tested Stoke’s creak­ing back line. The killer blow came just after half-time, and Frank ad­mit­ted his side had been on their A game. He said: “It was a dom­i­nat­ing, con­trolled per­for­mance from the first sec­ond to the last sec­ond. “Even their ‘worldy’ didn’t seem to af­fect us. They had two shots in the whole game and one of them was a blocked shot - that just shows the ded­i­ca­tion and de­fen­sive mind­set, the tac­ti­cal press­ing. Ev­ery­thing was spot on.” Ad­dress­ing Stoke’s ef­forts and the task fac­ing new man Jones, Frank added: “I’m not say­ing that Stoke is a bad team, I’m just say­ing there’s so many fac­tors that in­flu­ence a bad per­for­mance. “I’m 100 per cent sure Nathan will turn this around be­cause what he has cre­ated in his coach­ing ca­reer is a state­ment. So when the play­ers know him bet­ter and they train with him bet­ter I’m sure they will come back on track. “What ev­ery­body needs to re­alise is it’s not easy to go down and come back up. I think in the last five years only one team has done it. So it’s about build­ing a foun­da­tion and I think he can do that. “Coaches can’t just cre­ate magic. They haven’t per­formed all that well dur­ing the first part of the sea­son, but I think Gary Rowett has done ev­ery­thing to per­form with the play­ers.” Rowett was sacked on Tues­day after just eight months and 26 games in charge, but a hefty out­lay on tal­ent and a re­turn of 14th in the Cham­pi­onship ta­ble was too much for Stoke’s own­ers and fans to take. Yes­ter­day’s de­feat saw the Pot­ters slip one place fur­ther back to 15th.

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