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Ivan Toney interview: Brentford striker on exceeding expectations, proving doubters wrong and competition with Marcus Forss | Football News

first_img Image:Brentford have won four of their opening 11 Championship fixtures  Image:Toney scored eight goals in just six games in October But it’s competition by name only, insists Toney.“If I can help him in any way then that’s the kind of person I am. If he scores a goal, I’m just as happy as he is for me. As long as we are both doing well, that’s all we can do. We bounce off each other and it helps. The manager has a choice to pick a striker; it’s me at the moment and it’s just up to me to keep my shirt.“As a striker, you want to score as many goals as possible and the more games there are, the more goals you can get. I’m excited for the next period and I just want to get more goals under my belt, as well as three points, to push us forward to getting promoted.” 1:58 Following news that Brentford had agreed a fee a few days prior, Sky Sports News travelled to Posh’s training ground to gauge Toney’s thoughts. “I want to play at the highest possible level – the Premier League,” he said. “I feel like my ability will get me there, whether it’s now, next season or whenever.”A short clip of the interview subsequently did the rounds in the increasingly volatile social media environment and what followed was a significant outpouring of vitriol, with his attitude and ability quickly called into question. It was mid-August and, with just weeks until the start of the 2020/21 campaign, speculation surrounding the future of Ivan Toney was beginning to ramp up.Peterborough had missed out on a place in the Sky Bet League One play-offs on a points-per-game basis and, having scored 26 goals in 39 games, the striker’s stock was at an all-time high. Scottish champions Celtic were among a host of clubs with a reported interest.- Advertisement – Toney stated his future Premier League ambitions in an interview with Sky Sports News in August – Advertisement – Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Middlesbrough. “People are going to have their opinions and just because it’s their opinion to have, it doesn’t mean it’s factual,” he says.“I see myself as a Premier League player. If I see myself as a Championship player, that’s not good enough. You have to aim higher and if you come just short then it’s not too bad. You must have high ambitions and high ambitions scare small-minded people. I’m excited to be in the Championship and I’m sure I can play a big part in taking Brentford to the Premier League.”When the dust had finally settled, the move to west London materialised on August 31, with the Bees forking out an initial £5million for his services, rising to a maximum of £10million including add-ons. Ollie Watkins was still on the club’s books at the time, though Toney’s arrival paved the way for his record-breaking move to Aston Villa.center_img Peterborough United striker Ivan ToneyImage:The 24-year-old scored 26 goals for Peterborough last season preview image 1:39 “It wasn’t much of a shock to the system, it was more excitement. When you are excited and you want to do something, you don’t really care how your body is. You look past that and just enjoy it,” he says.“I would never have thought I’d be in this position at the beginning of the season but I did believe in myself and I know what I’m capable of and it’s starting to really show. I’ve believed in myself, and the manager, all the staff and the players have helped me.“I feel like everyone is a team player; there’s no individuals or standouts. I know I’ve been scoring the goals but without them I wouldn’t have been able to score them. Everyone wants the same goal at the end, which is to get promoted.“It’s pretty much the same squad as last year, obviously taking out two players [Watkins and Said Benrahma]. I’m sure the whole team knows what it is like to be so close and then not make it. They don’t want the same heartache they had last year and we want to put things right.” Nonetheless, Watkins’ boots would take some filling. In his first season since moving in from the wing last summer, the 24-year-old had made the No 9 role his own, with 26 goals in 50 appearances. It represented a wholly daunting prospect for some.“I was just excited to take the challenge on because I like proving people wrong. Without blowing my own trumpet, I feel like I completed League One a few years ago,” Toney adds, with a smile.There were nerves when his first four games ended without a goal. But then one away at Millwall was followed by two against Preston, two against Coventry and two more against Sheffield Wednesday. Eight in six games in October saw him named Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month for October. Needless to say, the naysayers vanished.Even more impressive was the way he picked up where he left off last season, as if the six-month break before his Bees debut never happened. As he speaks to Sky Sports, however, it doesn’t take long to realise that his statement was somewhat misconstrued.- Advertisement – Meanwhile, jostling with Toney at the top of the Championship scoring charts is Blackburn’s Adam Armstrong. The pair were under contract at Newcastle from 2014 to 2018, though neither managed to break through to the first team on a regular basis. “I think we both have a point to prove,” Toney continues.“When I went to Newcastle, Adam was out on loan, but we did speak and said we should both be playing up front together. It was never to happen but he is a great striker who knows where the goal is, for sure.”There’s competition closer to home, though. Fresh from a loan spell at AFC Wimbledon last season, Marcus Forss has forced his way into head coach Thomas Frank’s plans and currently has four league goals from his eight appearances – all have which have come from the bench – which represents an incredible average of one goal every 35 minutes. Not to mention the fact he scored on his senior debut for Finland earlier this week, against world champions France, no less. Peterborough striker Ivan Toney– Advertisement –last_img read more

Nikias contributes to reward

first_imgPresident C. L. Max Nikias is one of the 29 donors to contribute to a $1-million reward for information leading to the capture of suspect-at-large Christopher Jordan Dorner, according to Los Angeles Police Department.Dorner was named a suspect Wednesday in the murders of Dept. of Public Safety officer Keith Lawrence, 27, and his fiancee Monica Quan, 28. The two were found dead late Sunday night in Lawrence’s car in the parking garage of their Irvine apartment building. An autopsy on the victims determined that they died of multiple gunshot wounds.Dorner is also a suspect in the murder of a Riverside police officer.Other donors to the reward include police officer associations, law enforcement departments across Southern California, the Dodgers and Anschutz Entertainment Group, along with six anonymous donors.The $1 million was raised within 24 hours, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said, through phone calls to the department.The manhunt for Dorner began last week and has spanned several Southern California areas, including Riverside, Corona, Big Bear, Point Loma and San Diego.Police uncovered a manifesto written by Dorner, which mentioned Monica Quan’s father, Randy Quan, a retired LAPD officer, along with other LAPD officials. Dorner was fired from the deparment in 2009.The LAPD also said it will reevaluate Dorner’s firing.last_img read more

ESL announces Critical Ops Championship Series with live finals

first_imgESL has partnered with Critical Force from mobile first-person shooter Critical Ops to form a Critical Ops Championship Series. The bulk of the league will take place online starting in May into July, and a LAN finals event is planned for August in Los Angeles. The live event, though, will not be run by ESL.  “We want to test our capabilities in an offline environment,” Critical Force Esports Manager Kasperi Kivistö explained to Esports Insider. “That’s why the first Critical Ops live event was a natural step for us. Our goal is to find best two teams from both NA and EU regions and that’s what ESL is going to help us with.” “However, the live event itself is not organised by ESL. We will release more information about the live event as soon as we can.” According to the joint announcement, teams will begin by playing through six open cups run on the ESL Play platform. Eventually, the top teams will face off in a larger tournament to qualify for the live event. Two teams each from North America and Europe will attend the main event, which will have its own prize pool. The open cups will have their own prizes, varying from cash to in-game “weapon cases” used to accessorise characters. They also claim that the rules will be tighter, with use of five-on-five matches and enforcing the limit of a single squad per organization for the duration. This is likely a move towards standardization of rules. This is the first time that a major league organizer on the scale of ESL has helped with the “finals” or primary championships of a mobile-only game. ESL was likely utilised since the company has its own online league infrastructure used for a variety of other games, much like MLG. Esports Insider says: The fact that ESL has decided to work so closely with this game’s developers means that the entertainment company is seriously considering the impact of mobile games on the market. Critical Ops is certainly a flagship competitive game of its platform, and so we’re looking forward to seeing how this tournament turns out.last_img read more