Brentford head coach Thomas Frank feels striker Ivan Toney and the rest of his squad are ready to attack the Premier League head on as they prepare for the opening game of the new season against Arsenal.
Toney scored 31 goals in the Sky Bet Championship last season, helping the Bees finish third before securing promotion with victory over Swansea in the play-off final at Wembley.
Having missed the final pre-season friendly against Valencia as a precaution over a neck problem, Frank confirmed Toney will be fit to tackle the Gunners as the Brentford Community Stadium prepares to host top-flight football for the first time on Friday night.
“Ivan Toney had one aim – that was to go to the Premier League with us and he has achieved his target. Now we want to attack the Premier League together,” Frank said.
“I have a big belief in Ivan, 100 per cent. He has got all the abilities to score goals in the Premier League as well, with a top mentality and big belief for himself, which as an offensive player you need to have.
“He has got all the abilities – his link-up play, his finishing, timing in the box and awareness, so I am sure he will score goals in the Premier League.”
Toney has played in the Premier League before – but only briefly as a substitute during a spell with Newcastle earlier in his career, which included several loan stints down the pyramid.
The 25-year-old, though, has continued to deliver after stepping back up to the Championship from Peterborough in September 2020.
Despite the deserved plaudits, Bees boss Frank feels Toney keeps himself very much grounded.
“He is very level-headed, has fantastic values and that is why he fits into our group,” Frank said.
“I constantly talk about these four operating principles: performance, togetherness, attitude and hard work. Ivan ticks all of the boxes.
“When I talk about attitude, I always say confident, but humble. He is massively, massively confident, but also humble and with the right values as a family guy.
“He has a massive belief in himself and the team, which I think is a big help for him and also the team.”
Brentford are very much an unknown factor heading into the new Premier League campaign, which sees them playing in the top flight for the first time since the 1946/47 season.
Frank, though, insists his squad are not there just to make up the numbers.
“We are a bumblebee – they are not designed to fly, but we were still able to fly into the Premier League and we will constantly do everything we can to keep flying as high as possible.
“The targets for me are very simple – one, the next game on Friday against Arsenal and then the next game is against Crystal Palace, so that is as far as I am looking ahead.
“I’m extremely laser-focused on the next game and aiming as high as possible.
“We want to be positive-minded, attacking as many minutes as possible in the Premier League, that is our aim.”
DR Congo forward Yoane Wissa could be involved on Friday night after completing his move from French side Lorient, but Mathias Jensen and Josh Dasilva remain unavailable.
Denmark midfielder Jensen is still sidelined after suffering a deep wound in his foot during the Euro 2020 semi-final defeat by England.
Dasilva, who came through Arsenal’s youth system, continues to manage a hip problem.
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