De Zerbi: Moder will be crucial during run-in

Head coach hails an 'amazing' performance against Liverpool but won't take risks with the midfielder after his long spell on the sidelines.

By Bruce Talbot • 03 April 2024

By Paul Hazlewood
Jakub Moder in action against Liverpool on Sunday.

Roberto De Zerbi believes midfielder Jakub Moder will have a key role in the last quarter of the season as Albion chase European football again.

The Poland international made only his second Premier League start since April 2022, after recovering from two knee operations, in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield, a performance De Zerbi described as ‘amazing.’

“I had not yet understood [Jakub] but I understand now he is an important player for us,” said De Zerbi, ahead of tonight’s trip to Brentford.

“His performance at Liverpool was amazing and I am very happy for him, he is a good player.

“I don’t know if tonight he starts in the first XI because I can’t forget how much time he didn’t play and I won’t take risks with him.

The same for [Tariq] Lamptey and for [Danny] Welbeck. But in the last part of the season Jakub will be, I think, crucial.”


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Roberto De Zerbi's Brentford press conference

De Zerbi is a big admirer of Brentford manager Thomas Frank and believes they would be higher in the table had they not been beset by injuries.

“They have suffered injuries, but they are a very good team and I have a big respect for Thomas Frank," he added. "In terms of level of difficulty tonight is the same as Liverpool. To make points away at Brentford we will have to play one of the best games of the season.

“Without injured players Brentford could be higher in the table for sure. They have paid a big price for the injured players, like us. They have a clear style, with physical players and a great intensity. In the Premier League all games are tough. You have to push 90 minutes and be focused on the details like set pieces, especially tonight.”