Ivan Toney delivered the perfect response to missing out on the England World Cup squad by scoring a brace for Brentford in a 2-1 victory over Manchester City.
Toney opened the scoring on 16 minutes before Phil Foden equalised for the Citizens on the stroke of half-time – but the Bees took all three points when Toney scored a tap-in in the eighth minute of second-half injury time.
The former Newcastle United striker has now scored 11 goals and three assists in 16 matches in all competitions this campaign.
However, his form was not deemed good enough to be part of Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad with Newcastle’s Callum Wilson called up instead of him.
After being left out of the England squad, Toney told BT Sport on Saturday: “Listen, the only thing is to keep doing well, keep doing our best, keep doing well for the team and you never know what can happen.
“Obviously disappointment [over England], but I know what I’m capable of. I won’t let it put me down, I’ll keep going and keep doing well for Brentford.
“The motivation comes from the boys in the dressing room, and the fans we work hard and thats all we can do.”
Brentford boss Thomas Frank was also asked about Toney’s omission from the England squad, he replied: “Life moves on, you get a big disappointment but the critical thing is why we love football… the next day, the sun rises and we move on again.
“Ivan needs to continue performing and maybe there’s an injury today? Maybe that’s his chance to go to the World Cup? 10 goals, that’s unbelievably impressive.”
Explaining why he left out Toney, Roma’s Tammy Abraham and Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin, England boss Southgate explained: “Tammy is in that group as well because he’s been with us for more of the more recent squads.
“Callum wasn’t available to us in September and that was one of the reasons why we wanted to have a look at Ivan because Callum has had injuries in the past.
“We still feel that Dominic Calvert-Lewin has got so many good attributes as well and unfortunately he’s not able to stay fit.
“There were a number of players in that mix. At the moment we feel that Callum is in a really good moment, his team are going well and that’s helped and he’s been with us a little bit more before we’ve seen him on the pitch.
“With Ivan, we wanted to find out a little bit more about him last month and he’s done brilliantly to get himself in the frame and now he’s got to use that as a springboard to be available and get involved with England in the future.”
When asked how Toney responded to the news over the phone, Southgate replied: “He’s a strong character and he’s a really solid guy and he took it very well.
“I found him to be very mature and that’s how he reacted to it. I’m sure that the disappointment was there but I have to say he was really professional.”
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