‘Trademark goal’ gives Spurs winger Townsend a valuable confidence boost
Tottenham winger Andros Townsend says his much-needed “trademark goal” against Swansea will give him a valuable confidence boost – and he feels the same about the team’s victory at White Hart Lane.
Spurs went into last night’s Premier League clash winless in five games, having exited the Europa League last week and then lost the Capital One Cup final on Sunday.
But Nacer Chadli gave them an early lead and, although Ki Sung-Yeung equalised soon after, Ryan Mason and Townsend both struck within nine second-half minutes.
Before that moment, Townsend’s five goals for Tottenham this season had all come from the penalty spot, but the 23-year-old raced down the left wing from the halfway line, cut back inside and whipped the ball into the far corner to finish a superb individual effort in clinical style.
Former Spurs man Gylfi Sigurdsson pulled a goal back in the 89th minute to set up a nervous finale, but the hosts held on and returned to winning ways.
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Townsend said: “I think down the years that’s kind of been my trademark goal and lately I’ve not really scored as many as I would like to, but I’m really pleased with my goal and hopefully I can get a few more.
“I’ve scored five goals from the penalty spot this season but I’m an attacking player and I need to be scoring from open play for the confidence boost. That’s given me a good confidence boost and hopefully I can go on a run now.”
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While Townsend’s goal came down the left flank, he reiterated that his favoured position is on the right, where he has generally been deployed this season.
“I’ll play anywhere for this club,” he said. “My preferred position is on the right where I can come inside or go down the line, but if the manager wants me to play on the left, that’s where I’ll play.”
The England international feels the squad will also gain confidence and momentum from their first win in six games – especially after their disappointment at Wembley on Sunday.
“It was the perfect response,” he said. “To lose a cup final and have to play a very good side three days later is always difficult, but we knew we had to go out there and start fast right from the off.
“We knew we had to get the crowd on our side and lift the doom and gloom from the weekend, and I think we did that. We got the early goal and it set us on our way to a great win.
“At 3-1 up we should really have seen the game out better. I think that’s the only negative from the night but it was a difficult match coming off a difficult result three days ago.”
The football seemed very unimportant early in the first half when Swansea’s Bafetimbi Gomis collapsed on the pitch immediately after Chadli’s opener and was stretchered off the pitch while receiving oxygen.
There was great concern around White Hart Lane, with the incident coming three years to the month after Fabrice Muamba had a heart attack on the same pitch during an FA Cup tie on March 17 2012.
However, 29-year-old Frenchman Gomis has a history of fainting – it occurred three times in 2009 when he was at Lyon – due to a vasovagal condition, a form of low blood pressure, and last night he tweeted: “I wanted to reassure you concerning my health. It actually looks much more scary than physically dangerous. I am feeling well now.”
Speaking immediately after the match, Townsend said: “I looked over and it didn’t look good, and it kind of brings your memory back to Fabrice Muamba. I’m sure I’ve heard he’s ok, so it’s all good news and everyone can breathe a sight of relief.
“I wasn’t here [when Muamba collapsed], I was on loan at the time but seeing that tonight, it could have been going down the same route, so thankfully he’s alright and hopefully he can make a speedy recovery.”
With fears over Gomis’ wellbeing lifted, Townsend and his team-mates can look ahead to their sixth game in 17 days – a trip to QPR on Saturday.
They will be familiar surrounding for Townsend, who spent the second half of the 2012-13 season on loan at Loftus Road, while Rangers’ new manager Chris Ramsey was formerly an academy coach at Spurs, helping to develop the young players who are now in Spurs’ first team.
“I had a great six months there at QPR,” said Townsend. “They took a chance on me when no-one else would and I’m extremely grateful for that.
“It will be good to see the players, staff and fans who were great with me in my time there, and also Chris Ramsey, who I came through the Spurs system with from the Under-16s to the development squad and then the first team last season.
“I wish them all the luck from now until the end of the season and it will be good to see them - but of course we want the three points on Saturday.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs