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May 5, 2019 at 12.30pm UK at Griffin Park (Brentford, Middlesex)
Attendance: 11,289
Brentford
3-0
PrestonPreston North End
Konsa (45'), Maupay (54'), Forss (83')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Thomas Frank pays tribute to late director Robert Rowan

Thomas Frank pays tribute to late director Robert Rowan
© Reuters
West London team too good for Preston on final day of Championship season.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank spoke about the legacy of the club's late technical director Robert Rowan following the season-ending 3-0 win over Preston.

Rowan, who died in November at the age of 28, had won plaudits across the footballing world for his attention to detail and ability to develop young players.

Last Friday players from Brentford's B team who had featured for the senior side this season received a commemorative shirt in front of an honours board named after Rowan at the club's training ground.

Graduates Luka Racic, Jaakko Oksanen and Marcus Forss all played in the comfortable Sky Bet Championship defeat of the Lilywhites, with the latter coming off the bench to round off the scoring with an impressive strike after goals by Ezri Konsa and Neal Maupay.

For Frank, the shirt presentations held special significance as he said: "It was emotional for me and also a big thing for the club, because this was one of Robert's big legacies.

"He'd be so pleased to see so many B team players progress and get their debuts. I have a picture of him from the service. I had a folder made which is on a shelf in my kitchen so I can be reminded why we're here and why we work so hard to do well."

Maupay upped his tally for the season to 25 Championship goals and there is expected to be interest from other clubs for the 22-year-old, who scored for the fourth successive home game with a close-range finish after a precise ball by Sergi Canos.

Despite knowing what the Frenchman is capable of, Frank admitted the Bees' top scorer has still managed to exceed expectations and that the future of several key players is out of his hands.

He continued: "I knew he had the potential to score more than 20 goals, but 25 league goals is massively impressive, as is his number of assists and how he's stepped up to be a natural leader.

"Recruitment is an area where we are extremely good, so no matter what happens, we will be prepared.

"I think it's unlikely that we'll keep everybody, just looking at the history of the club and how the market is. We have some very good assets that every club will look at."

Preston, once in the play-off picture, have slipped to 14th after just one win in their last eight fixtures and boss Alex Neil acknowledged that his side had been distinctly second best at Griffin Park.

He said: "We found it really difficult to get in behind them.

"We started the game reasonably well, but we didn't do the basics well enough. Our use of the ball was quite safe and pedestrian and our decision-making at times was poor.

"Brentford moved the ball relatively well, but I've certainly seen them play better as well."

Neil, like Frank, has eyes on bolstering a squad that was ravaged by injuries during spells in the campaign, but understands he may not get things all his own way.

He added: "There will be difficulties in getting players you want, so we need to spread our net wide and keep our mind open.

"We know what we want, but it's another thing to get what you want. We'll do our utmost."

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