Brentford boss Thomas Frank has urged Ivan Toney to return to the Premier League after missing action in England.
The Bees striker earned his first call-up to Gareth Southgate’s side ahead of their final Nations League encounters, but Toney watched the two from the sidelines.
His club manager was empathetic but challenged his striker to move on quickly and focus on Saturday’s clash at Bournemouth.
“Obviously it was a big thing for Ivan to go to the English side,” Frank said.
“It doesn’t matter if he didn’t come on the pitch, it was still a great moment in his life and a great thing.
“Unfortunately he didn’t come onto the pitch. Of course he wanted to play, of course I wanted him to play, Brentford fans, we were all hoping he would come onto the pitch, but it is Gareth’s decision and I know what it’s like to be a head coach.
“There are 1,000 things to consider. You have to think the best for the team and not for an individual player. As far as I know, there were quite a few other players who didn’t come onto the pitch.
“From our vantage point, and we’re only looking at our side of the elephant, it’s hard to see the bigger perspective. Of course we wanted him on the pitch, but it was Gareth’s decision and he did a very good job for England.
“The way to succeed is to show resilience and come back after small setbacks. Ivan hoped to get on the pitch; we need to move forward and prove people wrong by performing. Ivan has a strong mentality.
Frank will have to manage without club-record signing Keane Lewis-Potter at the weekend who suffered a ‘minor’ ankle and foot injury.
Ethan Pinnock could return to the Premier League after missing the start of the season, but Frank stressed it would likely be in an emergency scenario only, while Christian Norgaard (Achilles) is still ‘weeks away’ from a return .
Frank was quick to praise Saturday’s opponents, who are unbeaten since their 9-0 win at Liverpool in August and have no new injuries to report after the international break.
“After a game like Liverpool, you either crumble or stick together and show that you are stronger,” he added. “They have players who can hurt us. Dom Solanke is a very good striker and Ryan Christie has done well too.
“It will be another big challenge. Since taking over, Gary O’Neil has done a very good job. He has two draws and a win on the results side and the performances have been very solid as well. They were difficult to face. »