Brentford forward Ivan Toney says he lost interest in football as part of serving his ban for betting.

The England international has not played since last May when he was found guilty of 232 breaches of the Football Association’s gambling rules and was handed an eight-month ban.

The 27-year-old is however on course to make his return later this month when Brentford face Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.

Toney has spent his time away from the game working on his own, in extra sessions at the club and on solo excursions to Nashville, and acknowledges that it is still difficult to accept his penalty.

“I didn’t watch football for a while. In a way, I punished myself. There was a stage I probably did fall out of love with football,” he told Sky Sports.

“Missing games and not being around my teammates was tough. I was confused but what’s done is done now, I can’t dwell on these things. Life’s not fair, we know this, the more you dwell on it the more it’s going to hurt you.”

Toney has been linked with a big-money move, with the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea reportedly interested in a player who netted 20 times last season.

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