Brentford boss Thomas Frank is impressed by Ivan Toney’s ability to deliver on the pitch despite the threat of possible disciplinary action for allegedly breaching betting rules.
Toney has until January 4 to respond to a Football Association charge relating to 262 alleged breaches, yet he showed no sign of being a player under pressure as he found the net in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham on Boxing Day.
Frank has spoken to the 26-year-old striker at length and is confident ahead of Friday’s London derby against West Ham that he is in the right frame to mind to perform.
“I can only praise him for his mentality and his character. He is in many ways unique there,” Frank said.
“His ability to have that laser focus and go into the game focused on the next action, the next moment and fulfilling his role in the team and pushing the team and helping the team is remarkable.
“I’ve spoken to him a few times to ask how he is and how his family are. In this modern world everyone thinks they know everything and there are a lot of clever people out there, especially on social media.
“It’s important for him and the family to take care for each other, which they do because they have a strong family.
“For any player it’s about finding that consistency, no matter what is hitting you. From where you find your extra inspiration, motivation, or whatever it is, it’s different from player to player.
“But I don’t see a more determined player, I just see the same Ivan who wants to progress and be better every day.”
West Ham are just one point above the relegation zone after a run of three successive defeats, but Frank has urged the club to keep faith with boss David Moyes.
“David Moyes and his staff have done a top job for the last three years,” Frank said.
“Maybe they’ve over-performed, but definitely top-performed in terms of stabilising the club and finishing in two unbelievable positions in sixth and seventh.
“To finish sixth above bigger clubs is remarkable and then to get to the semi-final of Europe. It’s about results, but this league is on a knife edge.
“Let’s say they have an average year and finish 15th, I would 100 per cent back David Moyes and his staff to continue.
“No club in the Premier League can stay consistently in one position unless you are Manchester City or Liverpool. It’s about staying calm and sticking to the strategy.”