'Rafa Benitez didn't give me a chance – and I STILL don't know why'

Ivan Toney has spoken about his rollercoaster career at Newcastle United.
Ivan Toney at Newcastle.Ivan Toney at Newcastle.
Ivan Toney at Newcastle.

The striker left the club last year after failing to break through under Rafa Benitez.

Toney, signed from Northampton Town in 2015, had featured under Steve McClaren, but was sent out on a series of loans by Benitez.

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Now 23, Toney has hit form for League One leaders Peterborough United alongside ex-Newcastle winger Marcus Maddison.

“I didn’t feel like I was given a proper chance,” Toney told The Athletic. “I still don’t. I’m not sure the manager gave me a proper opportunity. That’s his choice – he brought in players he wanted to work with, rather than giving youth a chance.

“If you’re not valued somewhere, which I didn’t feel I was, then go somewhere you do feel valued. That’s what I did. Perhaps it happened for the best because it means I’m here now, scoring goals again and picking up my career.”

Toney quickly pitched in by McClaren before being sent to Barnsley on loan.

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“I can’t tell you how crazy it is, as a young lad, getting thrown on in the Premier League,” said Toney. “The atmosphere was something else. I thought I did pretty well, and I thought I took it all in my stride, but the managers up there didn’t seem to agree.

Ivan Toney.Ivan Toney.
Ivan Toney.

“Going up to Newcastle, it was an exciting time. I moved away from home for the first time, which was always going to be difficult. But I feel I coped with it well and I just got on with things. I felt ready.”