Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Townsend Focusing on England after Relegation

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Townsend Focusing on England after Relegation

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Waugh Sports Writer Twitter: @Chris DHWAUGH

ANDROS Townsend admits it would be incredible to play for England at Euro 2016 but insists he is "gutted" Newcastle United's season has ended in relegation. The 24-year-old was named in Roy Hodgson's preliminary 26-man training squad having impressed with four goals for Newcastle since signing from Tottenham Hotspur in January even though he could not prevent the Magpies from being demoted.

England play friendlies against Turkey at The Etihad on Sunday, Australia at The Stadium of Light the following Friday, and another against Portugal before Hodgson then names his final 23-man squad at the end of the month.

Townsend is desperate to be involved having been United's star outfield performer in recent months, despite starting the calendar year playing for Spurs' Under-21s.

"I am fresh, I have played 13 games this season," an ecstatic Townsend explained.

"I am gutted the club season has ended because I am just getting into my stride.

"My confidence is back and I'm showing [what I can do] on the pitch and I am devastated the season is over.

"It's great that the call from England has come."

Townsend was non-committal about his United future given the Magpies' relegation to the Championship.

He is certainly grateful to Newcastle for offering him the platform from which to impress, however.

He added: "Anyone who has watched me for Newcastle saw it took me three or four games to get going then the last five weeks I have been close to my best form.

"I am getting back to my best and I am gutted we have to take a break for the club. But for my country, I have plenty to give.

"Against Spurs on Sunday you'd have seen I was fresh and just loving running around. I feel like on a personal level I am only just warming up now the club season is over. I am ready to go. I am in great shape.

"I can help England and the England manager if he wants to use me in France. …

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