Brentford boss Thomas Frank bemoaned another display ‘lacking quality’ in the final third as they were held to their fifth draw in six matches by Millwall. 

Not only did their failure to win, coupled with Swansea’s draw with Wycombe, see Norwich’s promotion back to the top flight confirmed but it also further dented their own hopes of automatic passage into the Premier League. 

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Marcus Forss had the best effort to break the deadlock but could only hit the side netting with his shot against a determined Millwall.

The result leaves the Bees eight points off second-placed Watford with five games to play, and left the club’s head coach ruing a familiar problem. 

“I would have loved the Birmingham game, this game and the Preston game maybe even with the goals out, and added that little magic touch that could have created two one-nil wins against Birmingham and Millwall because I don’t think we’re far away from that today,” Frank said. 

“When you’re coming in off a good performance against Preston you want to keep it up. We faced a Millwall team that did well against us, they defended well and made it very difficult for us. 

“But, we need to look at ourselves and I would say in a game where I saw a lot of willpower and hard work, we didn’t have that performance on the ball. 

“The final cutting edge, decision-making in the final third, that was the big thing where I would say we lacked quality.” 

Since the start of March Brentford’s promotion push has fallen away, with only two wins during that period. 

A 5-0 victory over Preston last time out had looked to be a turnaround in form and fortunes for the Bees but they were once again let down by a frustrated showing from their forward line. 

Between them, their strike partnership of Ivan Toney and Forss have scored 35 league goals this season but they were largely ineffective against the Lions’ resolute defence. 

And despite having his side’s own solidity at the back as a major positive, Frank believes the players must take ownership for inspiring greater performances on the day. 

“We look extremely solid defensively so that’s a good thing we need to take from this game,” he said.  

“But it’s that cutting edge that we thought we had found from last game. 

“Preston, Millwall and Cardiff are similar. It’s a 5-3-2, it’s high energy, it’s pressing and playing behind us. We need to deal with second balls and then open up that block of players. 

“The quality to get that right is not just about snapping your finger, it’s about [the performances] on the day.” 

Despite the disappointing result, Saturday’s fixture with Millwall represented a big occasion for winger Sergi Canos as it marked his 200th appearance for the Bees. 

Across a loan spell in the 2015/16 season and since joining on a permanent deal in 2017, Canos has scored 31 goals and notched up 28 assists – and his boss was full of praise for his resilience after coming back from an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in October 2019. 

“It’s a massive milestone, a fantastic achievement by Sergi,” Frank added. 

“People sometimes forget when you’re coming back from an ACL injury it takes time to get to your highest level and I think that we’re seeing Sergi get higher and higher. It’s a top foundation for him to work from.”