Bees boss proud of Toney after England call-up

Thomas Frank has praised the mental strength of Ivan Toney after the Brentford striker was recalled to the England squad for this month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine.

Toney was called up for the first time by Gareth Southgate last October but missed out on the World Cup after being charged with 232 breaches of the FA’s rule E8 between 25 February 2017 and 23 January 2021 a month later.

He was then charged with breaching the same rule a further 30 times between 14 March 2017 and 18 February 2019.

Despite these off-field dramas, Toney has continued his fine form for the Bees, scoring his 16th goal of the season in the 2-0 win over Southampton on Wednesday.

He celebrated his 27th birthday with a return to the international fold and boss Frank said he was delighted for the striker, who joined the club from Peterborough in 2020.

“I am very proud, pleased and happy especially on the behalf of Ivan, he truly deserves it,” Frank said.

“I don’t know many players with his ability with a lot of things going on to focus on what is the most important thing and that is out there on the grass.

“If you look at the goals and assists combined he is third on that list in the Premier League with 20.

“In that top 10 there are four Arsenal players two City players, Rashford, Salah, Kane and Ivan Toney from Brentford. Wow.

“I don’t how difficult it has been for him to focus, I can only see what he does in training and out of the pitch and he has that laser focus. That is a top ability to have.”