Winston Reid may have only started three games on loan at Brentford since sealing a temporary move from West Ham United, but the veteran centre back has already made his personality and experience count according to the Championship side’s head coach Thomas Frank.
The 32-year-old, who spent two years out following a serious knee injury sustained in 2018 and spent the first half of the campaign on loan at MLS side Kansas City, will likely be in the XI that faces leaders Norwich City at Carrow Road tomorrow evening.
And with club captain Pontus Jansson still sidelined by injury, the loanee’s presence will be key as Brentford seek to earn promotion to the top flight.
“It’s been a very good signing to get Winston in the building,” head coach Thomas Frank said. “We knew that we needed an extra centre back to help the team.
“The way he’s stepped in in his three games, he’s done really well in all of them with three things: his personality, experience and quality. He’s shown all three in all three games. Now with Rico [Henry, the left back] out, the adjustment we’ve made so far is with Mads Bech [Sorensen] playing at left back makes it even more important that he steps in and performs.
“He stepped in with authority from day one on the training pitch and imposed himself very hard on the fitness side. He played the first game at QPR, which was good for him. He then played against Sheffield Wednesday where he was a standout performance having got some minutes in games before that for various reasons.
“The big test I’d say was the Stoke game because there were only two games between the games and when you’ve been out quite a while your body needs to adapt and get to that point. He did.”
Frank is wary of working Reid too hard, however, and will monitor his playing load going forward. He is also focusing more on gym work at the training ground to ensure he is best prepared for games.
“We’ll adjust it but he’s not the only one because we played so many games,” Frank added. “[On Monday] he was off field for the second day [after a game] and doing his bits in the gym. [Tuesday] he will train normally with the rest of the team and we’ll see what we do on Wednesday. Those are the bits he needs to get over and then he’ll get his rhythm 100%.”