Ollie Watkins provided Brentford with a get-out-of-jail-free card to the delight of his manager as he scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough.

The 23-year-old signed a new four-year deal with the Bees at the end of a turbulent transfer window that saw Thomas Frank’s adored number nine Neal Maupay join Brighton for £20million.

Brentford’s loss saw Brighton gain a formidable striker in Maupay according to Frank, but the Dane is already pleased with what he has seen from game-winner Watkins.  

"I have big belief in Ollie - he scored a classic number nine goal,” said Frank.  

“We had to sell the best number in the league when Neal left, but now the new number nine has scored, so it is a case of job done.”

The hosts were dominant during the first half, peppering the Brentford goal as well as having two Ashley Fletcher goals disallowed.

However, nine minutes after the break, Woodgate’s side conceded the eventual winner, as Watkins turned home a Sergi Canos' cross.

Despite the win, Thomas Frank was not afraid of shying away from the poor performance he saw from his team in the opening 45 minutes.

“I was very disappointed with the first half and the players were disappointed with themselves because they know they can do better,” he added.

“The good thing was that showed in the second half.

“We talked about three things [at half time]. I said we needed to be much more aware, they were taking quick free-kicks and we were walking around with our heads down and with our backs to the ball.

“I said that we were too soft in duels, too soft under pressure, too soft in getting back in.

“We were also simply not good enough on the ball. We threw the ball away I don’t know how many times. Too many touches, bad decisions, not the quality we normally do.

However, the Bees boss was able to recognise the shift in quality in the second half, heaping praise on the defence’s display after the break.

“In the second half I think we changed all the three areas. They stepped up.

“I think in general we defended very well and we looked solid and good defensively.

“There were some extremely good blocks and the desire to defend was extremely good from the team. We need that if we want to take a step forward.”