BRENTFORD boss Thomas Frank is calling for an end to football’s dark arts after Ivan Toney missed his first penalty in almost five years.
England international Toney had a 29th minute effort saved by Newcastle keeper Nick Pope before netting a second spot kick just before half-time during his team’s 2-1 defeat.
And unhappy Frank said: “Every single time we have had a penalty, someone has tried to get inside Ivan’s head and referees need to be aware of that.
“It wasn’t why he didn’t score today because the law of statistics says that one day he would miss one.
“But instead of trying to think of a strategy to protect him from the abuse, maybe we should ask where is the sportsmanship?
“The penalty decision has been made so why not have a man to man duel between the keeper and the striker instead of all that mental stuff?
“Today the ball moved just before he took the penalty so maybe there was a bit of doubt that affected him, so it took a lot of mental strength for him to put the second one in the back of the net.”
Frank was also unhappy with the behaviour of Eddie Howe’s Newcastle assistant Jason Tindall as the visitors claimed all three points with goals from Joelinton and Alexander Isak.
He said: “Today we were deliberately more active towards the fourth official because we knew that Newcastle have that strategy.
“Jason Tindall always speaks in the fourth official’s ear throughout the game and we needed to be aware of that.
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“Today we went toe-to-toe with Newcastle and did to them what no other team has done this season. We missed a penalty, had a goal disallowed or a marginal offside and could have been 3-0 up at half-time.”
Newcastle boss Howe said: “Today is a huge moment in our season. We needed incredible character to come back like that and we have proved time and again that we have the energy and fight in us.”
But he wasn’t happy with substitute Anthony Gordon’s furious reaction to being replaced in the final minute of stoppage time.
He said: “Anthony is a passionate boy who wants to do well and I have no problem with that. But he needs to control his emotions.
“He was holding his ankle and we wanted to get the experience of Matt Ricthie on for the final 30 seconds. It was no reflection on Anthony’s performance.”