Shropshire Star

Johnny Phillips: Maupay the villain? Oh yes he is, oh no he isn’t

Football loves a pantomime villain and in recent weeks Neal Maupay has become such a figure.

Manchester City's Kyle Walker and Brentford's Neal Maupay

It is testament to the Brentford forward’s performances and goalscoring form that he has rattled a few opponents and, in doing so, upset some rival supporters in the stands.

His strike partner Ivan Toney believes they “know what we need to do to get in people’s heads to help win games”.

On the evidence of their partnership since Maupay’s return to the club for a second spell and Toney’s return from his FA ban, those comments ring true.

“Playing up front with him is interesting,” Toney continued. “We both know what we need to do to win, and we both know what we need to do to rattle people, to get in people’s heads, and to help win games.”

In their first game together, both players scored crucial goals in a 3-2 home win over Nottingham Forest in January which brought an end to a five-game losing streak in the Premier League.

They repeated the feat in the next league game against Spurs, although on this occasion the Bees were on the wrong end of a five-goal thriller.