Brentford coach Thomas Frank praised the way forward Ivan Toney reacted to the struggles of his career to become a ‘better’ Premier League player.
Toney, 25, is in his second season with the Bees after moving to west London from Peterborough in the summer of 2020. After scoring 49 goals in all competitions for the League One team, he has performed a smooth transition to championship gear. And, with 31 league goals last season, the Northampton-born hitman helped Brentford to finish third in tier two.
He scored the first goal in the final 2-0 play-offs victory over Swansea City. The capital’s outfit was tilted for relegation before a ball was kicked in 2021-2022.
However, they got off to a good start in the top flight, with eight points in five games played. Toney has played every minute of his Championship campaign to date, scoring twice.
He will lead the line again when Jurgen Klopp’s Reds visit Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday night. After starting his career at Northampton Town, Toney joined Newcastle United in August 2015.
But, unable to find his place on the side, he was loaned to many clubs. The talented striker has passed temporary stints with Barnsley, Shrewsbury, Scunthorpe (twice) and Wigan Athletic.
It wasn’t an easy time for the player and Frank thinks that made him the man he is.
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“He’s faced a lot of setbacks in his career and that’s where you test your resilience. And he’s been very resilient, and he has this tough mentality and conviction, ”he said, by The evening standard.
“Ivan is very smart, because he’s a thinker, and he himself deserves a lot of praise for also stepping into a well-run club and listening to all the little details and adding extra layers to his development and performance.
Frank greets the “fantastic” Toney
Toney had already caught the attention of a few big clubs before the start of this season. Leeds United, West Ham United and Tottenham have all been mentioned in relation to the forward.
But he stuck with Brentford and took on the challenge of rising through the ranks. Frank thinks it’s no coincidence that he is at home in the Premier League.
And the Dane clarified that under his calm air beats the heart of an animal.
“If you want to be a top player you have to work hard, think constantly and want to learn and of course you have to have that confidence that he has so naturally,” he added.
“He presents himself in such a fantastic way: he is humble, calm, but with a lion’s mind.”
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