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Steve Bruce says Ivan Toney did well to bounce back from non-league, which will be news to Ivan Toney…

1 month ago
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Steve Bruce has pointed to the threat posed by Ivan Toney.

Top scorer in the Championship with 16 goals so far this season, the striker is Brentford’s best player and Newcastle’s most dangerous opponent.

Steve Bruce saying that Ivan Toney will have a special point to prove to those at Newcastle United who decided to let him go.

I’m not too convinced though about the level of preparation from Steve Bruce for this game, as he is under the impression that Ivan Toney went into non-league football when leaving Newcastle, before he ‘surfaced’ again at Peterborough.

In the real world, Newcastle sold Ivan Toney to Peterborough for £500,000 in August 2018 and he hit the ground running, scoring 40 League One goals for the Posh in 63 starts (13 sub appearances), before getting his move to the Championship this summer. Newcastle banking a reported bonus £2m-£3m due to a 30% sell on clause in his contract when Brentford bought him.

On the availability front, there doesn’t appear to be any positive news.

Asked if Allan Saint-Maximin would be involved at Brentford, the answer was a simple no. The same with Martin Dubravka who isn’t ready to return.

Steve Bruce also indicated that after having been forced off at half-time on Saturday, Federico Fernandez won’t be playing and instead Isaac Hayden will have to play centre-back again alongside Ciaran Clark.

Steve Bruce also talking about how envious he is of Brentford’s model of being able to sign players such as Watkins and Benrahma for low fees and sell for tens of millions, with Ivan Toney looking likely to follow.

A bit of a contrast to Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley buying Joelinton for £40m+ and then…???

Steve Bruce pre-Brentford press conference:

“Once you get to a quarter-final, there’s a semi-final at stake.

“We haven’t been there for years and I hope we’re looking forward to it, certainly I am.

“The games are coming thick and fast but what an opportunity we’ve got.

“We’ve got a wonderful opportunity to get to the semi-final of a cup, so let’s look forward to it, enjoy the challenge of it and see where we can go.

“It’s been far too long, as has been well documented, but we’ve got ourselves a chance.

“As always, the big teams are still there, I think there’s only Wigan off the top of my head who’ve won a cup [in recent years] apart from the top six if you like, so we know how difficult it is.

“But let’s have a crack, let’s enjoy it and see where we get to.”

On player fitness and availability:

“At the moment, I think I have to make changes.

“Isaac [Hayden] has gone in at centre back and I can’t see that situation improving [by Tuesday], so there’s a problem for us straight away.

“Whatever we put out, we’re certainly capable of performing better than what we have done over the last couple [Leeds and Fulham] and we’ll have to perform better because Brentford are a good side.

“I’m disappointed after the platform we gave ourselves against Crystal Palace and West Brom, we’ve certainly had a difficult week, so let’s get on with it and see what we can do.

“As we speak today, the numbers [of players affected by the virus] are far too high, and big players for us.

“It’s difficult, of course, but we’ve got to try and manage it as best we can, be sensible and take the advice that the medical people can tell us, and see where we get to.”

Asked if Saint-Maximin would be available against Brentford:

“No.” (and didn’t /wouldn’t give a reason as to why)

Asked if Tuesday will be too early for Martin Dubravka to be involved:

“Yes.”

On Brentford:

“I think you have to pay a huge compliment to the way they’ve gone about their work over the last five years.

“They’ve got a new stadium, they keep selling players, they keep buying them on the cheap and selling them for tens of millions, and last year they nearly got up again and they’re going well again this year.

“You have to say congratulations to them, as a small club they’ve done remarkably well and they’ve got some very good players.

“They’ve got a great model, which a lot of us will be envious of, because they keep turning over really, really good players.”

On Ivan Toney:

“He’s done very well.

“It looks like he’s playing with that burning desire to prove people wrong. You have to say well done to him. He will be a threat because he’s playing with a lot of confidence.

“He will want to prove people wrong [at Newcastle] who let him go.

“He had to go away, go into non-league I believe, then surfaced at Peterborough, and you have to say well done to the kid.”

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