IVAN TONEY remains “irritated” by his Newcastle spell — and is driven to prove his old bosses wrong tonight in the Carabao Cup.
Toney joined the Toon in 2015 after firing in the goals at Northampton as a 19-year-old — but made just four senior appearances, all from the bench.
Ivan Toney is out to prove Newcastle wrong in Brentford’s Carabao Cup quarter-final[/caption]
Six loan spells and three years later the forward made the drop downwards to Peterborough.
But he has since gone on to prove Newcastle doubters wrong by becoming one of the most sought-after stars in the country.
Since joining the Bees this summer for £10million he has scored 16 goals in 20 Championship games.
And ahead of a cup quarter-final reunion with Bruce’s Newcastle, Frank said: “Ivan has an inner drive and determination to reach the highest level.
“Always it is the case in all our careers there is one point that inspired or irritated us enough to work hard every day to try and prove some people wrong.
“I know Ivan has big ambitions to prove that he could have played in the Prem.
“He will play there one way or another, no doubt, with his mentality and hunger, but maybe this was the route for him.
Toney endured a frustrating spell at Newcastle as a teenager[/caption]
“Not everyone has so many paths to get to the top — some of them are Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo but as far as I know there have only been two of them in the last 50 years that have been like that.
“For the rest it is a lot of hard work.
“If you want to be a Premier League player then it isn’t just about performing on a shiny night under the floodlights in the cup. You need to do it every day in the dark hours.”
Steve McClaren and Rafa Benitez were coaches that missed the potential of Toney.
And current boss Bruce admitted: “The way he looks, he’s playing with that burning desire to prove people wrong.
“He will be a threat. He’s playing with confidence.”
For both sides it is a chance to make history — Brentford are looking to reach a League Cup semi-final for the first time, while Newcastle are searching for a first major trophy for 65 years.
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Bruce could be forced to field a weakened side with doubts over first-team regulars through injury and positive Covid-19 tests — but Frank has warned the top-flight outfit those excuses are pointless.
Frank explained: “If you ask the Newcastle players about playing us then they will think they have a great chance. “Or I hope they do or they shouldn’t be in the Premier League.
“They are favourites, otherwise there wouldn’t be a difference between the two leagues.”