THOMAS FRANK is targeting an FA Cup run but admits his side’s third-round clash against Port Vale will be no easy task when they meet on Saturday afternoon.

The Bees will head to Vale Park for tomorrow’s match against a side that are sixth in League Two, meaning it would be a huge shock if the Premier League side were defeated.

However, Frank is by no means underestimating tomorrow’s opponents and says he’ll put out a strong side as he targets a deep run in the cup.

He said: “We truly respect Port Vale. They are a good team, doing well in League Two, in the play-offs. I will put a strong team out there with a strong squad to travel because I believe in keeping momentum. I would love to go on a cup run.

“I hope we have a very lively cup atmosphere. Darrell Clarke will put his strongest side out there because they have been hit by Covid and have had a lot of other games postponed because of Covid. He needs a game for his starting XI. We know they like to play and attack but we will be ready for that.

“My approach will be the same. We will go in there and try to do it our way. We will try to attack the game from the first second. I am pretty sure we will be fine.

“I hope and believe that we will put in a good performance where the bits that I massively believe in, like the culture, shine through everything. Maybe not everything is in sync, but we are a solid team that is working hard with a solid foundation.”

Frank admitted that despite committing to starting with a strong side, he needs to find a balance between that and giving players who need minutes an opportunity.

He said: “It is about finding the right balance between playing a team that we think is strong enough to progress to the next round, giving some of the players that deserve minutes more minutes, and there are players that we would like to get going.

“I think there’s no problem playing Saturday, Tuesday, Sunday with the same starting XI but it is about finding that balance to put out the strongest team in all three games that can go at the highest intensity all three games.

“The good news is that Kristoffer Ajer will start. That is very positive as we need him to play. There are others who need to get up to speed.

“Sergi Canós and Mathias Jensen will not be involved on Saturday but should be available for Southampton. Charlie Goode and Zanka are a little bit further away. Bryan Mbeumo will most likely be involved in the game on Saturday. Rico Henry is one step too early for Saturday.”