Steve Bruce gives his view on Ivan Toney after 'rejection' by Newcastle United
Steve Bruce has given his view on Ivan Toney ahead of the striker’s reunion with Newcastle United.
Toney, sold to Peterborough United two years ago, has scored 16 Championship goals for tomorrow night’s Carabao Cup opponents Brentford.
And Bruce is wary of the 24-year-old – who joined Brentford this summer in a £10million deal which netted Newcastle a sell-on fee – ahead of the quarter-final at the Brentford Community Stadium.
“He’s done very, very well,” said United’s head coach. “He’s obviously had the biggest disappointment in football of being rejected.
“Certainly, he has that burning desire to do well and prove people wrong, and, of course, he’ll want to do his utmost to prove people wrong for letting him go.
"He’s had to go away, and surfaced at Peterborough. You have you say ‘well done’ to the kid. He’s done very well. He will be a threat. He’s playing with a lot of confidence.
"I went to see them two weeks ago, and they’re a very good side. They’ve been a good side for the best part of three of four years. The sell a centre-forward for £30million-odd and buy him, and he’s top goalscorer. They keep reproducing, and they do it very, very well.”
Toney questioned the decision of Rafa Benitez, Bruce’s predecessor, to sell him in an interview in January.
"When he came in, I was injured at the time, and he put the injured lads at the bottom end, so it was kind of tough to take,” said Toney, signed from Northampton Town in 2015.
"Rafa’s a great manager, but, personally, I don't think I was given that chance. That's my opinion on it – others may feel different."
Toney hopes to return to the Premier League, and Brenford manager Thomas Frank said: “There are a lot of players in our team who dream big and want to go to the Premier League one way or another.”
Meanwhile, it is 15 years since Newcastle, held to a 1-1 draw by Fulham on Saturday, last reached a cup quarter-final.
“We haven't been there for years, so I hope we're looking forward to it,” said Bruce.