Thomas Frank praised Bryan Mbeumo for his 21-minute hat-trick that earned Brentford a 4-1 victory over Port Vale in the third round of the FA Cup.
Mbeumo came off the bench in the 62nd minute and added to Marcus Forss’ first-half opener with three goals at Vale Park.
“It’s brilliant I must say,” said Frank. “He’s been brilliant for us this year in the Premier League. He came back from a minor injury, we knew that he wanted to play ready for Tuesday. And three quality finishes, very composed.”
Forss scored a fine opening goal, and Mbeumo looked to have made things safe for the Premier League team when he scored with his first touch in the 66th minute.
But four minutes later the League Two team were right back in it when teenager Kian Harratt headed in a day after signing on loan from Huddersfield.
Vale hit the post in a frantic six-minute spell that ended with Mbeumo grabbing an excellent second on the break before completing his hat-trick with a late penalty after Ivan Toney was fouled.
“We know that these FA Cup games are very difficult,” said Bees boss Frank. “First half I thought we were excellent. Our counter-pressing, our attitude, mentality spot on. We scored a good goal from Marcus Forss, controlled it completely, didn’t give Port Vale a sniff of anything.
“But we know this is the FA Cup. Second half we started bad, they played a tiny bit more direct, ran more at us but 2-0 I thought, ‘now, done,’ but they really created that special FA Cup atmosphere, they scored the 2-1 goal, they put us a little bit under pressure but in the end we, and especially Bryan Mbeumo, showed our quality.”
Vale, who sit sixth in League Two, were playing their first game for nearly a month because of Covid postponements.
Manager Darrell Clarke was pleased with his side’s endeavours, saying: “First half we spent a lot of time without the ball, kept giving the ball away.
“Second half I thought we gave it a right good go and certainly getting back to 2-1 we had them on the ropes for a little spell. But they showed their clinical finishing at the end, one chance, bang, back of the net.
“I think that will have done us the world of good in getting one or two players back from injury, blowing the cobwebs off, one or two lads back from Covid.
“We couldn’t have picked a harder game to come back to but I’m pleased the lads did ourselves justice and pleased our crowd was fantastic. We’ll take the positives from it.”