Thomas Frank is convinced that Ivan Toney will break the individual season scoring record for the Championship, after the striker did everything but find the net in Brentford’s 1-0 win over Rotherham.
Toney is the division’s top scorer on 29 goals – one behind Glenn Murray’s record of 30 goals in the 2012/13 season – and had five attempts against the Millers, hitting the post just before half-time.
Asked if Toney was trying too hard to land the record, the Brentford boss said: “Maybe. But I don’t think it’s a secret that he would like goal number 30, which would be an unbelievable achievement.
“But that is just a number. Look at his performance, look at what he put in. He is a winner, I hope he gets the goal he wants and I think it will come.”
Frank was also full of praise for midfielder Vitaly Janelt, restored to a central role from the left-hand side where he has played in recent games.
Janelt had to hobble off with an injury late on, and Frank said: “I haven’t asked the medical guys if he is going to be OK, but I will be very disappointed if he’s not ready with that mentality. He could lose a leg and still be running around!
“I use him as an example for some of the other players. Sometimes when he kicks it out of the pitch, you don’t see any reaction. He just increases the tempo to the side – and that is crazy.
“He is a top player and the good thing is that he will only get better. The way he came into the club, you could just see that on the first training day, the scanning, the way he distributed the ball, the passes – he just came in with that aura in a way that he was not arrogant at all, just confident but humble.”
The victory strengthened Brentford’s hold on third place, which will be important if they want to be at home in the second leg of the play-off semi-finals next month.
“We won deservedly tonight,” said Frank. “We had to fight a lot for the first 25 minutes and did not really have control of the game, then we had one bit of class and brilliance for the goal and from then on we were in control. We created all the chances to kill the game at 2-0 and put in a lot of fight.”
The win was a fitting tribute to legendary centre-half from the 1960s and 70s, Peter Gelson, who died on Monday, and who was remembered before the match with a minute’s applause.
Gelson is one of only four men to play more than 500 games for the Bees.