They may have gone 19 league matches unbeaten, but that doesn’t stop Brentford boss Thomas Frank from expecting even more from his players when they face Middlesbrough this weekend.

The Bees make the trip to the Riverside having not tasted defeat in the Championship since a 3-2 reverse away at Stoke City back in October - a run that sees them sit second in the table heading into the weekend’s action. 

But Frank is well aware that a trip to the north east to face Neil Warnock’s side will be a tough test for his side, with Boro having one of the best defences in the division this season. 

With just 24 goals conceded from their 27 matches to date, the hosts will be a tough nut to crack when the two sides take to the field on Saturday, and the Bees boss knows his side will all have to be singing from the same hymn sheet in order to keep the chasing pack in their rear-view mirror. 

"Of course we want to be as high as possible, it's positive to be in the position now, but we have to focus on the next one. We have to focus on a big game against Middlesbrough,” the Dane said after their 3-2 victory over Bristol City on Wednesday night that took them into second spot.

“We are always together and we have desire and that’s important in a league that is relentless. We look only to the next game against Middlesbrough who have a way of playing that makes it difficult for you.

"Of course it's nice to be in that position but it's where we are when the season ends, it's all about that.”

This will be the third time this season that the two teams will have done battle, having already played out a 0-0 draw at the Brentford Community Stadium in November, before the Bees secured FA Cup success with a 2-0 home win in January. 

But after bolstering their side in the recent transfer window, Boro will be a different entity to the side who lost in London last month, with a number of players having returned after isolating due to COVID-19. 

The addition of wide man Neeskens Kebano from Fulham will add an extra dimension for the hosts, who sit just two points outside the Championship play-off spots ahead of Saturday’s clash. 

And after the lively duo of Bryan Mbeumo and Josh Dasilva missed out on the midweek victory over Bristol City with knocks, Frank is confident that the duo will be in contention to play this time around. 

"We know they are a top team, they just had a lot of signings come in during the January transfer window, they are really going for a push for promotion,” Frank continued.

“They made it very, very difficult for Norwich and the last time we met them - so we need to be bang on.

“We hope that Bryan will be available, that’s the plan. Josh Dasilva is also hopeful that he could be available, that’s what we are aiming for.”