Toney backed by Brentford boss Frank as threat of betting ban

Thomas Frank has paid tribute to Ivan Toney’s mental strength as the Brentford striker faces betting charges – and promised his total support. England striker Toney is facing charges over 262 alleged breaches of betting rules by the FA, and has until January 4 to respond to the governing body. The 26 year old could face a lengthy ban if found guilty.

Toney missed out on World Cup selection with England, but was straight back into action scoring in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham on Boxing Day, his 11th goal of the season, and Frank vowed: “I will be there for Ivan if anything happens. 

“There are people much closer to Ivan, his family and friends. They are the key people that are giving support, but it is important for me as his coach to give that support so he knows he is fully backed. 

“I can only praise Ivan for his mentality and his character. He is in many ways unique. His ability to have that laser focus going into the game, fulfilling his role in the team, is remarkable.

“I have spoken to him, mainly to ask him how he is, because in this modern world everyone knows everything, or thinks they know everything on social media. 

“If there is something in the background sometimes you need to not be afraid to talk about the elephant in the room, but on the flipside, you don’t want to talk about the elephant all the time. 

“I don’t see a more determined player or angry player. I just see the same Ivan, who wants to progress and be better every day.”

“We played a game behind closed doors during the break, we were losing, and Ivan was still sprinting back for a corner and was still first man back and defending as a centre back. Those are the signs I am constantly looking for – from all of them.”

Tenth-placed Brentford will still be without the injured Kristoffer Ajer and Aaron Hickey against struggling West Ham tonight at the London Stadium, but both are now back in training. 

PROBABLE BRENTFORD XI VS WEST HAM: Raya; Jorgensen, Pinnock, Mee; Roerslev, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Henry; Mbuemo, Toney.

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By Tony Banks

Tony Banks is a Daily Express/Mirror/Star sports reporter.

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