Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola are wrong to criticise the long-standing ‘tradition’ of the English festive fixture list, reckons Brentford boss Thomas Frank.

And the Dane says he’s relishing the prospect of leading his Bees into Boxing Day battle at Brighton as they bid to clamber back up the Premier League table.

Liverpool boss Klopp echoed the views of his captain Jordan Henderson by blasting the festive fixture pile-up, while Manchester City chief Guardiola suggested players should consider going on strike to demand a reduction in their workload.

Everton manager Rafa Benitez also criticised the schedule – that sees top-flight teams play three times in eight days – but Frank, 48, insists he has nothing but respect for the historic English staple.

He said: “Traditions, when they are good, need to be carried on.

“The Christmas programme is fantastic. I don’t think it’s a problem in terms of games, we play three games a week a lot of other weeks.

“If you ask the players, they would love to play 90 minutes after 90 minutes. It is up to us to take good, sensible decisions, looking at their eyes but also all the data and numbers we have on their physical stats.

“That’s how we look at who we might need to take off because they are more tired or there’s a bigger chance of injury. Maybe we will change some players between the games, but it will not be five or six; it will be two or three if necessary. 

“One thing we need to look at and consider is the cup tournaments, but I like the Christmas programme very much.”

Frank’s side travel to the south coast on Sunday before then hosting Guardiola’s resurgent Premier League table-toppers three days later.

They then take on Steven Gerrard’s in-form Aston Villa on January 2 to round off a period that is continuing to divide English football – debates only exacerbated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Brentford were dumped out in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals by Chelsea in midweek, while their last two Premier League games against Southampton and Manchester United were postponed because of Covid-related factors.

Their last top-flight game came on December 10 when Bryan Mbeumo’s last-gasp penalty turned the tables against Watford and hauled the Bees to a dramatic late victory.

Brentford currently sit 12th in the Premier League table and ahead of Sunday’s trip to face Graham Potter’s Seagulls – level on points with the Bees in the table – Frank added: “They have been very good performances.

“They have been strong defensively, giving very limited chances away to the opponents, and we’ve tried to build more on the attacking side of the game.

“We are in a very good place and would like to carry that on.

“Graham Potter and his staff are doing a top job down there. They develop their style of play constantly. This season, like us, they have been a little unlucky and should have more points.

“I expect an even game between two sides who try to press high and get on the ball. The team that has the most margins with them or shows the quality in the crucial moments will win the game. Hopefully it is us.”