Ivan Toney has done enough to be recognised for England selection – Thomas Frank
Thomas Frank believes Ivan Toney has done enough to give England manager Gareth Southgate a selection “headache” after he scored the opener in Brentford’s 2-0 Premier League win at Southampton.
Toney was in the right place at the far post to tap the ball home after a flick-on from Christian Norgaard in the first half and turned provider from Yoane Wissa, who scored the second in stoppage time.
It was the forward’s 16th goal of the season, but Toney is still waiting for a Football Association verdict after being charged with 262 breaches of FA gambling rules, with a lengthy suspension possible.
However, Frank believes his player has done enough to be considered for England selection, with Southgate due to name his squad for the upcoming European Championship qualifiers on Thursday.
“I don’t expect anything from football,” the Bees manager said.
“It’s up to Gareth to pick the right squad. Ivan has done more than enough to be giving Gareth a headache in a positive way.
“If you look at pure goal scorers for England, he is the second-highest goal scorer behind (Harry) Kane. If you look at clear number nines, he should be thinking very much about calling him up.”
Frank added: “I don’t think I have any more words to say, I just repeat myself. Big player, character for us, great goal. He could have got more out of the set-piece chance from earlier.
“And setting Wissa up for the goal, very good, important for us.”
The game itself was a cagey affair, with few clear-cut chances for both sides and tempers became fraught in the second half, with 33 fouls occurring during the game.
The Bees had a 12-match unbeaten run that bolstered their European aspirations broken by a 1-0 defeat at Everton, but Frank praised their ability to put the defeat behind them.
“I love the bounce-back mentality from the players, the difference between good and great players and teams is the ability to get through setbacks and bounce back,” he said.
“I think these players and this team are great in many, many ways and I love the way they bounce back.”
Ruben Selles was left to rue missed opportunities after his side were unable to take something from the match.
“I think we came here today with the belief that we could have a good performance and get the three points,” the Saints boss said.
“We didn’t manage the key moments of the game and unfortunately, we didn’t get what we wanted.”
He added: “I think we had a clear plan how to do it (win the game). I think in the second half we showed how to do things and slowly we lost those principles.
“We had the crosses, but we didn’t have the situations in the box to make the most of it.”