"I know what I'm capable of": Ivan Toney defiant after England World Cup squad snub

Brentford striker Ivan Toney celebrates by putting his fingers to his ears after scoring his team's winning goal in the Premier League match between Manchester City and Brentford on 12 November, 2022 at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, United Kingdom
(Image credit: Alex Livesey / Getty Images)

Ivan Toney produced the perfect reaction to being left out of England (opens in new tab)'s World Cup (opens in new tab) squad as he bagged a brace to secure a famous win for Brentford (opens in new tab) at Manchester City (opens in new tab) – and appeared to send a subtle message to Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate afterwards.

Toney's was probably the most significant omission as Southgate revealed his 26-man selection for Qatar on Thursday: the striker has been in red-hot form this season, with only Erling Haaland and Harry Kane scoring more Premier League goals than his 10.

And after inspiring his team to a famous victory over the champions in their final game before the domestic campaign hits pause for five weeks, Toney – who's yet to make his England debut, having been an unused substitute for September's two Nations League fixtures – spoke of his determination to keep proving his ability.

Reflecting on surely Brentford's most impressive victory since promotion to the Premier League two seasons ago, the 26-year-old said (opens in new tab):

"We’ve just got to keep doing well and keep doing our best.

"I know what I’m capable of and I’ll keep going. The motivation is the boys in the dressing room and the fans.

"What we do week in week out on the training pitch shows that we’re capable of this. They might be Manchester City but they’re humans and humans make mistakes."

Toney will have to make do with a spot on the sofa as England chase their first World Cup success since 1966; the Premier League returns on Boxing Day, when Brentford host Tottenham (opens in new tab).

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...