Thomas Frank ignores the omens as Brentford seek to end play-off hoodoo

Thomas Frank says he is not a superstitious man, which is probably just as well considering the hoodoos Brentford need to break at Wembley on Saturday.

The Bees, beaten by Fulham in last year’s Championship play-off final, get their chance at redemption when they take on Swansea for a place in the Premier League.

Yet Brentford have reached the play-offs in the various divisions nine times, and lost each time.

If they are to make it 10th time lucky the west Londoners will need to beat another bizarre curse – of the red and white stripes.

Teams who traditionally wear red and white shirts and black shorts, like Brentford, have featured in 32 play-off campaigns, and 16 finals, without achieving promotion. Sunderland, Sheffield United, Exeter and Lincoln have also fallen foul.

Not even a change into their blue away kit could save Brentford at Wembley last year.

But Bees boss Frank – whose club have also lost on their three visits to the Football League Trophy final in their history – insisted: “I’m not superstitious, at all.

“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.

“Am I worried about the kit? No. I don’t care.

“The atmosphere is calm, relaxed and focused, with the understanding we are facing a Swansea team who have had a fantastic season.

“We’ve played them twice, both 1-1 draws. It’s going to be an unbelievably tight game settled on the finest of margins.”

Frank will make a late call on the fitness of midfielder Christian Norgaard, who picked up an injury in the warm-up prior to the semi-final second leg win over Bournemouth.