Thomas Frank has hailed Ivan Toney for harnessing the “mindset of a lion” to take the Premier League by storm.
Striker Toney has struck two goals in his first five top-flight appearances, with Brentford climbing as high as ninth in the embryonic table.
The 25-year-old had to battle through six loan stints in three years at Newcastle en route to the big time with Brentford.
Toney’s division-high 31 goals last term fired the Bees to promotion from the Championship, but now manager Frank believes the in-form striker can continue to thrive in the top tier.
“I’m not in doubt of the fact that his parents have helped him massively through his life, 100 per cent sure they have raised a fantastic young man with all the right values,” said Frank.
“He’s faced a lot of setbacks in his career and that’s where you get tested on your resilience, and he’s shown himself to be very resilient, and he’s got that tough mentality and belief.
“Ivan is very intelligent, because he’s reflecting, and he deserves a lot of praise himself for also coming into a well-run club and listening to all the small bits and adding extra layers to his development and performance.
“If you want to be a top player you need to work hard, constantly reflect and want to learn and then of course you need to have that confidence that he’s got so naturally.
“He’s coming across so fantastically: he’s humble, calm, but with a mindset of a lion.
“I think for every person or player the sky’s the limit, then we will see in the future where they go.
“First I just want to enjoy Ivan here in my team, and see him grow and be as good as possible, and then we’ll see what happens in the future.”
Frank’s Bees will host Liverpool at the Brentford Community Stadium on Saturday evening, bidding for a third win in six league matches.
Danish boss Frank has plenty of belief in his side’s ability to push Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, but remains under no misapprehensions about the scale of the task.
“Liverpool will be our biggest test this season by far, they are one of the best teams in the world and one of the biggest clubs in the world,” said Frank.
“And in the last three years they have played some of the best football: some of the most entertaining, forward-thinking, pressing, running, attacking from every angle football.
“It’s very, very impressive what they have done, Jurgen Klopp, the staff and the players.”