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Ivan: ‘We can compete at the highest level’

Striker speaks to written press after Manchester City loss

31 December 2021

Ivan Toney says the system in place at Brentford means every member of the squad can compete at the very highest level. The centre forward was speaking to the written media after the Bees were edged out of a thrilling clash with Manchester City by a single Phil Foden goal on Wednesday night.But he was full of praise for the players who stepped up to the mark to leave Pep Guardiola’s side sweating until the final whistle.

“From the starters to the subs we have quality all over the field. We’re missing some main players but the other boys came in and did great,” said the forward. “It’s not just quality though – it’s wanting to work hard and knowing your job when you get in the team, and they did both.”

Toney said the true mark of this history-making squad will be when the spectre of COVID, injuries and suspensions has gone away.

He added: “Everyone is always ready for the opportunity to play and the players who came in did well, but when we get everyone back we have a great squad and we can compete at the highest level.”

The penalty king was disappointed not to take something from the game, but admitted: ”We could have scraped something out of the it but lacked quality in the final third. But to start the year in the Championship and end it in the Premier League losing narrowly to one of the best teams in the world is an achievement, and we can hope for better things next year.”

The boyhood Liverpool fan refused to look further ahead than Sunday’s visit of Aston Villa but admitted the prospect of walking out at Anfield was “getting sweeter” the closer to the game we get.

He said: “First though it’s Villa and we want to finish as high as possible. We take things game by game and it would be a great achievement to stay in the Premier League and hopefully we can finish in the top half.”

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