Brentford boss Thomas Frank lauds Ivan Toney as ‘the world’s best penalty taker’

The Bees striker scored his fifth goal of the season with England boss Gareth Southgate watching on.
Brentford manager Thomas Frank hailed the composure of forward Ivan Toney (John Walton/PA)

Brentford manager Thomas Frank hailed the composure of forward Ivan Toney (John Walton/PA)

By George Sessions, PA

Brentford boss Thomas Frank hailed the composure of Ivan Toney after his penalty proved the difference in Sunday’s 1-0 win over Everton.

The forward continued his excellent record from 12 yards with a 19th successful spot-kick out of 20 attempts.

A fifth goal of the season for Toney occurred after a typically laid-back run-up to the 24th-minute kick, but his manager says he is a true example of practise makes perfect.

Frank said: “He is the world’s best penalty taker and he proved it again against (Jordan) Pickford, who I think is a good keeper in terms of saving penalties.

“Goal, no problem and the good thing I like about Ivan is you need to be strong, composed and to have a personality where you like the pressure to take penalties. He is like this.

“But if you want to maintain your level at something, you need to practise it and he is practising every single day. That is why he is so good.”

Toney impressed with his all-round play and his display came in front of onlooking England manager Gareth Southgate, who namechecked the Bees striker last month following an excellent start to life in the top flight.

At the other end of the pitch, Frank was pleased to see goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez keep a first clean sheet in the Premier League.

The summer signing was thrust into action at the end of October when first-choice stopper David Raya sustained a serious knee injury but played his part in the narrow victory with a fine first-half save from Salomon Rondon.

Frank added: “I’m very pleased for Alvaro. We know goalkeeper is a crucial position in any team and we miss one of the best in the division so it is big shoes to step into.

“Naturally he is growing into the role and he pulled off two big saves, one from Rondon’s shot and then Alex Iwobi’s chance. That was not a big chance but it went through a lot of bodies and it was very important.”

Buoyed by a first win since October 3, Brentford are next in action on Thursday when they travel across London to face Tottenham.

Frank will need to check on the fitness of Rico Henry, Christian Norgaard and Sergi Canos after all three were forced off on Sunday.

“We will have more than enough time to be fresh and ready for Thursday,” he insisted.

Brentford’s fourth league victory of the season moved them above Everton, who have not won since they beat Norwich on September 25.

Rafael Benitez is well aware the Toffees must halt their seven-match winless run but their next task is a home clash with his former club Liverpool on Wednesday.

The atmosphere could be frosty after the Everton supporters at Brentford made their feelings known at full-time with some angry gestures towards the players when they went over to applaud the travelling faithful.

But Benitez said: “I think the fans appreciate the effort of the players but they are expecting more in terms of results.

“The connection with the fans and players last year was maybe not great but at the beginning of the season it was fantastic.

“To bring back this connection, the fans are expecting the players to give everything and after to win games but you cannot blame any player because they were giving everything.”

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