Frank not superstitious but may need ‘football gods’ to end curse


homas Frank says he does not pay any attention to superstitions and curses, but admits his Brentford may need “a little help from the football gods” to finally end their playoff hoodoo at Wembley tomorrow. 

Frank’s men take on Swansea in the Championship Playoff Final, with the prospect of a return to the top flight of English football for the first time since 1947 tantalisingly close. 

The omens, however, are not good. This is Brentford’s tenth playoff campaign across the divisions and they are yet to earn a single promotion, their most recent defeat coming in this exact fixture a year ago, when they were beaten in extra-time by Fulham. 

The Bees’ own dismal record is part of a freakish wider failing among teams who traditionally play in red and white striped shirts with black shorts. Between them, Brentford Sunderland, Sheffield United, Exeter and Lincoln have endured a remarkable 32 playoff campaigns, including 16 finals, without victory. 

“I’m not superstitious, at all,” Frank said. “Of course I know how the human mind works and, of course you’ve heard stories about black cats or ladders and all that. 

“If you do it, it comes into your mind and you think ‘what should I do?’ So I understand why people think things like that but personally I can’t live my life like that. I need to move on and keep going.

“My approach is to analyse things, make sure we do better, and there’s a lot of emotions about how we make the narrative of going into a final like this.

“We are excited, looking forward to it and we know everything is up in the air until Saturday afternoon.

“I didn’t know about the red and white. I’ll let our kit man take care of that. But all these stats are there to be broken in the end.”

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