16 March 2023

He truly deserves it – Thomas Frank delighted with Ivan Toney’s England call-up

16 March 2023

Thomas Frank is proud of Brentford top scorer Ivan Toney and believes the striker deserves his place in the England squad.

Toney is in Gareth Southgate’s group for the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy and Ukraine this month after scoring 17 goals this season.

“(I am) very proud and pleased and happy especially on behalf of Ivan,” Brentford boss Frank said.

“I think he truly deserves it and I said to him in front of all the players this morning how pleased we are as a club, how happy we are and how well deserved it is.

“I want to give more credit to him, I want to give more credit to his closest family and friends because I think they have been the biggest support network.”

Frank acknowledged Toney’s laser focus and mentality despite facing online racist abuse and finding himself in hot water after breaching the Football Association’s gambling rules.

“He’s got that laser focus and top ability which I think is a top ability to have as a sportsman or elite sportsman to focus on what is the most important thing, the training,” Frank said.

“I don’t know many people or players with his mentality with a lot of things going on and the ability to focus.”

A win against Leicester at home on Saturday would see Brentford inflict a fifth straight Premier League defeat on Brendan Rodgers’ side.

He's got that laser focus and top ability which I think is a top ability to have as a sportsman or elite sportsman

Frank understands the challenge the match poses with a win potentially lifting Brentford into sixth place.

He said: “It’s a reminder to me that sometimes it just doesn’t work completely for whatever reason (Leicester’s position), and I don’t know how you avoid it.

“Leicester as a football club and Brendan Rodgers as a coach has done fantastic and I think Leicester have some fantastic players.”

Frank credited Leicester’s attacking threat despite the Foxes scoring just one goal in their last four league outings.

“(James) Maddison, (Harvey) Barnes, (Kelechi) Iheanacho, Tete I think is coming in. (Nampalys) Mendy, (Kiernan) Dewsbury-Hall in the midfield, I think it’s a strong team. A very very strong offensive team,” he added.

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