16 Nov 2019

Roy Hodgson urges Andros Townsend not to give up on England recall

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Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has urged Andros Townsend not to give up on another call-up with the England national team. The 28-year-old was a regular choice under Hodgson when he was the Three Lions head coach but he has not been able to break into the squad under the guidance of current boss Gareth Southgate.

Speaking in a press conference, Hodgson said that he would never discourage someone from playing at a higher level and that includes representing the national side. He added that Townsend has gone through a rough phase this season after an impressive 2018/19 campaign and the attacker would himself acknowledge the same.

He told reporters: "I would never like to call time on anyone’s ambitions to play at a higher level, either at a so-called bigger club or for the national team, that should always remain a goal. I would say that Andros would probably say, because he is a very realistic person, he thinks about his game, I am pretty certain he would probably say he isn’t playing his best football at the moment. That there is more in him."

Townsend bagged a career-high tally of nine goals during the previous campaign and that included a stellar long-range strike against Manchester City which was nominated for the Puskas award. However, he has looked off-colour this term with no goals from the opening six games and he surely needs to perform with a better consistency to stand any chance of returning to the national setup.

Southgate has gone with the progression of young players over the past year and Mason Mount and James Maddison have been some of the upcoming stars, who have been called up for the recent internationals. Judging by this, Townsend may struggle to make a comeback but the door does not remain closed. Ashley Young of Manchester United set the example last year after he represented the Three Lions at the World Cup at the age of 33.