Brentford manager Thomas Frank expects Neal Maupay to remain at the club after the January transfer window despite speculation linking him with a move to the Premier League.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s clash with Stoke City, the Dane revealed that he expects his side to emerge stronger from the transfer window.

Reports emerged this week speculating that the likes of Aston Villa, Huddersfield and Middlesbrough were lining up bids for the Championship’s top=scorer.

But Frank says his side are prepared to line up a replacement if a bidding war were to start for the in-form 22-year-old Frenchman.

“We want to be as strong as possible and we want to improve the squad,” he said.

“We are always looking because in this market, a bid could come in for one of our players, so we need to be prepared.

“We have a shadow team of three or four positions, so we are always looking.

“I would say that we have very talented players, so I guess that clubs are looking at our players, but I expect and hope that everyone will be here after the 31st January.

“The market value is a tricky thing. I think the prices in football are crazy anyway. When players leave us, I hope we get the biggest price for them.”

It’s been all-change at Saturday’s opponents Stoke City this week, with manager Gary Rowett sacked.

Frank shared his support for Rowett and believes that the former Birmingham City and Derby boss found himself in an almost impossible position.

The Potters were quick to hire replacement Nathan Jones from Luton Town and Frank believes the change in direction by his opponents will make the match harder to prepare for.

“I am not happy to see some of our colleagues lose their jobs in Gary Rowett. I think he had done a okay job in a difficult situation,” he said.

“People tend to underestimate that when club get relegated from the Premier League for the last how many years, how easy has it been for one of the clubs to go back up.

“The last one was Newcastle having only one season down, so it’s very difficult. The owners need to understand that there’s no magic formula to going back up.

“Congratulations to Nathan Jones. I think he did a top job at Luton and I am pleased that it’s a new potential head coach that got the chance.

“It’s far too little and not enough time. The transition from one league to another is very difficult. After each transfer window, there’s always players either in or out.

“The coaching philosophy and the strategy of the club need to be calmer and looking at the long-term picture.

“If you’re cooler headed, you will have more long-term success going forward.”

Brentford head into the clash off the back of an unbeaten run of five matches, that’s witnessed the Bees beat Bolton and Oxford City as well, as drawing with promotion hopefuls Norwich City.

While Frank is admittedly satisfied with the improved defensive performance of his side after conceding just twice in the last five outings, he is hungry for more goals at the other end.

“I want to try and create two or three big chances in each game, so that’s the big aim, and we’ve been working on that in terms of patters and triggers and things like that,” said the Bees boss.

“We need to have more goals from everyone in the team, it’s not only a one-man band. Of course, it’s been pleasing that Neal has had such a fantastic season. We must praise him so much for developing.

“For the four main wingers and strikers; Alan Judge, Ollie Watkins, Sergi Canos and Saïd Benrahma need to add more goals. They know that, and they work very hard on that.”