Thomas Frank insists he has enough attacking options to cope with a possible ban for Ivan Toney, but is not considering any alternatives while his star striker is still available for selection.
The Brentford forward was originally charged with 232 alleged breaches of FA betting regulations in November, with the breaches said to have taken place between February 2017 and January 2021, before being charged with an additional 30 alleged breaches of the rules in December.
The 26-year-old has pleaded guilty to many of the charges against him though has denied others, and is waiting to hear on the FA’s decision on whether he will be punished.
On Friday, Brentford boss Frank said he shared Toney’s disappointment at details of the case being leaked before a decision has been made and admitted he is concerned about losing the striker, who has scored 14 goals in 21 Premier League games this season, to a possible ban.Embed from Getty Images
Frank, however, believes the Bees have the attacking options to cope without Toney, but says that while his top scorer is available, he will not be tempted to turn to them.
“I think there’s always leaks and all this talk, but right now he’s playing,” he said.
“I know it’s big news, but he’s actually starting on Monday against Fulham, so I’d like to speak about all his qualities and what he brings to our team instead. His link-up play, his goalscoring ability, his leadership, his pressing ability which he does so well.
“I play the best players every single time for as many minutes as possible and Ivan is definitely one of them.
“So now he’s playing and hopefully he’s playing for a long time, maybe he will play forever. We never know, nothing is decided. I’m only focused on that.
“And if something happens this season where he is not playing, I would love to discuss it more in depth. But I think we have good options in (Yoane) Wissa, Bryan (Mbeumo) and Kevin Schade.”