Andros Townsend played a key role in helping Palace secure a vital three points away at Huddersfield last weekend, prompting him to speak about the qualities that will be needed if we are to avoid relegation.
Having suffered the drop into English football’s second tier with Newcastle the season before last, Andros knows all too well that talent alone isn’t enough to keep you afloat in the Premier League, making a favourable comparison between our current squad and others he’s been involved with at QPR and the aforementioned Magpies.
Far from throwing either of those two former clubs under the bus, Townsend’s comments simply highlight the mental strength and togetherness that exists within the current group of Palace players; an observation backed up perfectly by the battling display we put in from the first minute until the last against David Wagner’s men last Saturday.
Incredibly, Andros has now totted up 72 appearances in red and blue, just 21 short of the total he managed throughout the eight years he spent on Tottenham’s books at the start of his career and I think, contrary to what others may say, he’s feeling more and more at home in SE25.
His own game is one which works better when paired with the talents of Wilfried Zaha on the opposite flank; a pairing which causes opposition full-backs all sorts of problems thanks to their pace on the counter-attack. In truth, the build-up to our second goal of the game against Huddersfield was a perfect microcosm of the headaches the duo can cause when they’re on form, with Townsend benefitting from Zaha’s initial breakaway to draw a stonewall penalty and allow Luka Milivojevic the chance to put the game to bed.
Whilst some grumbled mildly about Andros’ work-rate in the first couple of months he spent with us, his improvement following the departure of Alan Pardew was remarkable to see. From the moment the now West Brom boss vacated the Selhurst Park dugout, Townsend has been a consistent grafter for the side and now clearly feels as though he and his teammates have enough about them to avoid the dreaded Premier League trap door for another year.
It’s music to my ears.