Ivan Toney will be a man on a mission when Brentford take on Newcastle in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
The 24-year-old striker joined the Magpies from Northampton in 2015, but managed only four first-team appearances amidst a host of loan spells before he eventually signed for Peterborough.
Two years on and Toney is the Championship’s top scorer with 16 goals from 21 matches and with a place in the semi-finals in his sights.
And Brentford boss Thomas Frank admits Toney will have a point to prove when he lines up against Steve Bruce’s side.
“I think Ivan has an inner drive and determination to reach the highest possible level,” said Frank.
“I don’t know exactly this but there are always situations in all our careers which can inspire us, or is irritating us enough to make sure we work hard every day to try to prove some people wrong.
“I know that Ivan has big ambitions and of course he would like to prove that he could play in the Premier League.”
Brentford have already beaten three Premier League sides – Southampton, West Brom and Fulham – on their way to reaching the last eight for the first time in their history.
Some bookmakers even have the Bees as favourites to beat a troubled Toon side, but Frank insists they are still very much the underdogs.
“You have to look at the two leagues,” he added. “Newcastle are in the Premier League. Newcastle’s players, if they have to play against us, will believe they are better players than us. Well, I hope they do.
“From that perspective I think they are still favourites. But we are in a good place. We have done well in the Carabao Cup, we can do something in the game.
“But I still think we need to say they are favourites. There is a different level between the two leagues. And with respect to Newcastle I think they are a good side.”
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