THOMAS Frank believes the experience of Winston Reid is already proving a valuable asset as his Brentford side prepare for their promotion run-in.

The Bees welcome Stoke on Saturday having ended their three-match losing streak in style in midweek, seeing off Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 to climb back into the automatic promotion places.

Reid made just his second start for the club in the win over the Owls and while he is still regaining full match sharpness, Frank is delighted with the 32-year-old’s impact on and off the field since his arrival on loan from West Ham.

“With Winston, just his presence on the pitch is spreading among his team-mates,” he said.

“We knew when we signed him we needed his personality and experience. He was a giant (on Wednesday).

“We had two very good centre-backs who had done well, we needed him to come up to speed in terms of fitness and every player needs to be in top shape. Winston is getting there.”

Brentford also welcomed back Ivan Toney and Emiliano Marcondes from injury lay-offs in midweek, with Toney making a sooner than expected return and Marcondes back in the squad for the first time since early January.

With Bryan Mbeumo and Saman Ghoddos also on target on Wednesday night, Frank is spoiled for choice when it comes to attacking options for the Championship’s highest scorers.

“We didn’t know with Ivan if it was two games he couldn’t start or five and now hopefully he is close to being able to start on Saturday,” Frank said.

“It was good to see Emi back on the pitch. We all know what he brings to the team, his energy and quality.

“(Their returns) just give us that extra boost. It’s so good to have them back.

“Bryan has been unlucky with some minor injuries and he needed to get back up to top pace – he showed that on Wednesday. He did a really good job as a striker.

“With Saman, you need midfielders who can score goals and now he’s done it three times, four if you include the cup. I still expect to see more from him to push us in the right direction.

“Our performance (against Sheffield Wednesday) was not perfect but it showed we learned from the last games. We now face another big challenge which we look forward to.”

Saturday’s opponents Stoke are 10th in the table, four points off a play-off spot, and won the reverse fixture 3-2 in October – with Marcus Forss’ brace coming too late to spark a Bees fightback.