Brentford head coach Thomas Frank was reluctant to discuss the FA’s investigation into allegations that Ivan Toney bet on football matches earlier in his career, though revealed he would start Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Gillingham as he goes in search of a place at the World Cup.
Toney missed the Bees’ 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest on Saturday through a suspension, and The Sun reported later that evening that he was the subject of an ongoing investigation into potential bets he made prior to joining the club from Peterborough.
Both Brentford and Toney released short statements in response to the story, and Frank did not want to divulge any further, insisting his striker is focusing on securing his spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
“I think in general about that the club put a statement out, Ivan put a statement out, the only thing I would like to speak about is Gillingham. Ivan will start the game tomorrow, he’s fighting for his position in the World Cup squad,” he said.
Frank was then asked if he’s spoken to Toney about the allegations, replying: “We speak mostly about football. Of course we speak about private things as well, that’s part of the job to be a head coach or manager. What I like to speak to you guys [the media] about is, of course, football only. In that aspect, he’s in a good place.
“Of course he’s hoping to be called up, and as I spoke about many times, he’ll be a perfect fit for two reasons. One, his qualities and two, his specialist role both as a striker coming on the pitch and making a difference if they need a goal in a game, and of course with penalties as well.
“When you have 26 players, you need to think like that. But again, it’s not me in that position that needs to put a squad together, that’s Gareth. I’m convinced he will take a good decision.”
Toney, who has scored eight Premier League goals already this season, received his first England call-up for the September internationals, though is yet to make his Three Lions debut.