Brentford boss Thomas Frank hailed the development of Ethan Pinnock ahead of Saturday’s match against Blackburn Rovers at Griffin Park.

The former Barnsley defender was not a regular starter for the Bees at the beginning of the season, but his patience and persistence has paid off as he deputises for Pontus Jansson following the Swede’s recent hip injury.

The 26-year-old has been a staple at the back for the last six matches and is likely to start again this weekend as Frank’s side continue their assault on The Championship playoff berths. 

“I think he is one of those players who, when he is out of the team, just keeps training like a beast every single day,” Frank said.

“He never dropped his head, never. Then, when he had the opportunity to step into the team, he was ready and hungry and just up for it, instead of being disappointed and flat.

“I think he was one of our best players against Reading, when he stepped in and we won 1-0 at home. 

“How many times he gets his head on that ball and heads it away and clears it is amazing and now he has got his first goal as well. Hopefully there is more to come.”

Frank is anticipating a tough test against a Blackburn side that has climbed the table in remarkable fashion since the turn of the year. 

Rovers sit just outside the playoff places in eighth spot, having lost just once in their last seven Championship matches, and will be looking to continue their own promotion push as they travel to London this weekend. 

“They have lost just three times in the last 17 games, which shows a lot about a team that is difficult to win against,” Frank said. 

“I think the development of the team last year to this year under Tony Mowbray and his staff is quite remarkable.

“They play some really good football, and, on their day, I think they are a really, really good team. I think it is quite impressive what they have done so far this season.”

“I think it is still a game we will dominate, and I expect us to do it, especially at home at Griffin Park.

“But we know when they are on the ball that they are fluent, they can create. They have a lot of players in front of the ball that want to run in behind but also want the ball in between lines.”

The Bees manager does not expect to make too many changes, but will welcome back Bryan Mbeumo after the Frenchman missed out on last week’s trip to Birmingham. 

The consistency in the starting lineup has been one of the contributing factors to the Bees success this season, with Frank displaying confidence in his first-team regulars. 

“You can always say that you would like a little bit of rotation and you like competition, but sometimes you just settle and know this is the best line up or team so far.

“I believe you need to have eight or nine players who, if they are available, fit and of course performing to the normal standards, play, because then I think you have a good chance to create a good team.”