Soccer

Thomas Frank says Ivan Toney deserves England recall after Brentford beat Wolves

Toney has three goals in four games after his return from a ban.

Brentford’s Ivan Toney celebrates his goal at Wolves
Brentford’s Ivan Toney celebrates his goal at Wolves (Nick Potts/PA) Brentford’s Ivan Toney celebrates his goal at Wolves (Nick Potts/PA)

Boss Thomas Frank urged Gareth Southgate to hand Ivan Toney an England recall after his Brentford comeback.

The striker scored his third goal in four games since returning from his eight-month ban for breaching betting rules in Saturday’s 2-0 win at Wolves.

Christian Norgaard’s first-half header put the Bees on course for their first Premier League away win since October, moving them up to 14th.

This week, Frank said Toney – who has one cap – is likely to be sold in the summer but he also feels his star man deserves another chance with England ahead of Euro 2024.

He said: “I know what Ivan can bring and I think it’s something different England don’t have.

“Ivan played a fine game, not a top game but the strikers need to score goals.

“He scored again when he had to and he played with illness, he was ill Thursday, Friday and today.

“It shows everything about his mentality. He is unique.

“He has always been committed for the team, for the club and his team-mates.

“Who knows what is going to happen in the summer? What Ivan is very good at is being in the moment, right now, here, ready. That’s what he is focusing on.

“It would be great if he keeps going. He has all the qualities for it. We know we will create chances for him and big chances.”

Brentford should have won by more after wasting several first-half openings, with Neal Maupay the main culprit.

First, he allowed Jose Sa to save with just the goalkeeper to beat before Sa claimed his header from the resulting corner.

Mads Roerslev blazed over before Maupay missed another opening, shooting at Sa after working space well.

Wolves, who lost Matheus Cunha to a hamstring injury, struggled to get going and fell behind after 35 minutes when Norgaard shook off Craig Dawson to nod in Sergio Reguilon’s corner.

Mark Flekken turned Pedro Neto’s header onto the post just before the break and the forward saw his deflected strike rattle the upright soon after the interval.

From the corner, Brentford failed to clear and when Neto returned the ball Dawson nodded in, only for VAR to rule him narrowly offside.

It was the closest the hosts came to a recovery and Toney sealed the game with a fine cushioned finish from Vitaly Janelt’s cross with 13 minutes left.

“If I sat there last night and tried to imagine things going wrong for us it would have looked like something like that,” said Wolves boss Gary O’Neil.

“It started yesterday when I got the message Channy (Hwang Hee-Chan) was feeling his calf.

“We gave Brentford a little bit of impetus and an unbelievably bad error for the first goal which then gave them the game they wanted, when they take ages over everything,

“You don’t see many goals from chest height in the middle of the goal from three or four yards in the Premier League. From that moment I knew exactly how tough it would be to crack Brentford.

“When you watch that game, it looks like a really bad team performance. It was but there are really clear reasons why.

“Losing Matheus and Channy, the lads being below the level and two terribly bad errors for the goals.”