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Championship play-off headlines as Brentford boss Thomas Frank’s words with ref emerge and Newcastle United loanee reveals special Swansea City connection

The Championship play-off final is just three days away.

Here are your latest headlines.

The Bournemouth warning Thomas Frank gave referee

Thomas Frank warned the match officials to be wary of Bournemouth’s time-wasting ahead of his side’s play-off semi-final second leg win over the Cherries.

Jonathan Woodgate’s men led 1-0 after the first leg and were only too happy to run the clock down in the final stages of the game at The Vitality Stadium.

Ahead of the return leg at the Brentford Community Stadium, Frank was wary of being up against it and spoke to referee Jarred Gillett about his concerns over the possibility of Bournemouth wasting time.

“You can’t do that every single time, but I felt that after Bournemouth went 1-0 up last time, they time-wasted, right from the off, after whenever the goal was,” said the Danish boss.

“Even when they got a corner in the first leg, I thought, why are they playing that short? Why not try to score?

“So we were talking to the ref and the fourth official (James Linington) before the game to explain it, make sure they don’t time-waste.

“And, it’s very important to say, if we for whatever reason should be up 2-0, please book us if we time-waste. Please book us if we kick it away three times in a row. That’s just the way it should be and it should go both ways.

“So we were absolutely on it. So after 15 seconds I said to James, I will try and stay away from you in every other situation, but time-wasting, I will be there every single time, because we need to have the game going.”

Woodman’s special Swansea connection

Freddie Woodman admits he’s never felt more connected to a fan base than he does at Swansea City.

The goalkeeper is approaching the end of his second loan stint with the Swans – who are the fifth different team he has joined on a temporary basis from parent club Newcastle United.

The Englishman is highly regarded by the Magpies and signed a long-term contract with the club ahead of his return to south Wales last summer.

However, the 24-year-old – who won the Golden Glove award for the 2020/21 campaign – admits he’s desperate to repay the support he’s been shown from the Jack Army by helping Swansea return to the Premier League.

“I came to this club two years ago with the aim of getting promoted, and now we have an opportunity to do that,” the goalkeeper told the club’s official website.

“We are buzzing but there is still one more game to go.

“It is not about what it means to me, it is about what it means to the people at the club and in the city.

“I have never been somewhere before where the club is so connected to the fans.

Swansea City are on the brink of a return to the Premier League and here is our must-have coverage.

  • THURSDAY – don’t miss your glossy Swans Wembley poster in the South Wales Evening Post. Get yours here.
  • FRIDAY – your bumper eight-page Swans v Brentford supplement – everything you need to know about the big game. Click here to get one.
  • SUNDAY – all the big-match Wembley reaction and analysis in Wales on Sunday. Get that here.
  • MONDAY – another eight-page Evening Post special on all the Wembley drama. Click here to get it.

PLUS – If Swans go up don’t miss our bumper 24-page promotion special in next Saturday’s South Wales Evening Post!

“I go for a coffee in Mumbles and four or five people will come to talk to me and pass on best wishes.

“I might be doing my shopping and I end up speaking to everyone, and I absolutely love it.

“It’s brilliant, it was so emotional to have fans back against Barnsley and I cannot wait for them to get down that M4 to Wembley.”

Will Swansea City beat Brentford in the Championship play-off final? Have your say in the comments section here.

Brentford ace calls for ‘fresh mentality’

Ivan Toney says Brentford must take on Swansea City with a fresh mentality after overcoming Bournemouth in the play-off semi-finals.

The Bees came from 2-0 down in the tie to win 3-2 on aggregate against the Cherries in the last four.

It set up a final date with the Swans who defeated Barnsley 2-1 on aggregate in the other semi-final contest.

And the Championship’s top scorer Toney says his side will make full use of their week on the training ground ahead of Saturday’s Wembley final.

“The next challenge is Wembley, and beat whoever we get in the final,” he said.

“That’s the main focus now. We’re going to have a strong week in training and go with a fresh mentality.”

“Hopefully we can do the job.”

Final referee appointed

Chris Kavanagh will take charge of the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

The Manchester official was coincidentally the man in the middle for Swansea’s 3-1 loss to Brentford in the second leg of last season’s play-off semi-finals at Griffin Park.

He also took charge of the Swans’ FA Cup third round replay win over Wolves in 2018.

Kavanagh will be assisted by Dan Cook and Sian Massey-Ellis.

David Coote will be the fourth official.

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Ex-Swans assistant in frame for Wolves job

Former Swansea assistant Bruno Lage is set to hold talks with Wolves to be named as Nuno Espirito Santo’s successor, according to the BBC.

On Friday, the Molineux outfit confirmed Portuguese Santo would leave the Midlands after four years at the club.

And Lage – who was Carlos Carvalhal’s assistant at Swansea during the 2017/18 campaign – is poised to hold discussions with the top brass at Molineux over the managerial vacancy at the club.

Lage was most recently at Benfica where he won the Portuguese title two years ago.

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