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|WHAT A WEEK FOR ANDROS!|
English football’s biggest names paid tribute to Andros Townsend after our young winger elevated himself to national stardom this week.
Andros, 22, who has been in fine form for us this season, put in a Man of the Match display on his debut for the England national team in last Friday’s crucial 4-1 World Cup qualifier victory over Montenegro at Wembley.
And he followed that up with another impressive display on Tuesday as England secured qualification for next summer’s tournament finals in Brazil by beating Poland 2-0.
Andros fully justified Roy Hodgson’s decision to start him on the right wing against Montenegro, and after his barnstorming run down the flank laid the foundations for Wayne Rooney’s opener, he capped off a fine performance by firing in the goal of the night.
He seized possession in midfield, surged forward and crashed a shot into the net on his weaker right foot to put the Three Lions 3-1 up, after the visitors had halved a 2-0 deficit.
We went on to win the game 4-1, with Andros carrying over his terrific form into Tuesday’s match against Poland, in which he hit the bar with a spectacular curling effort from 20 yards out.
In light of his breakout performances, some of England’s big-hitters have paid tribute to the influence of our wing wizard.
Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, the national team’s skipper, proclaimed: "I thought the team selection was very bold - three forwards in the team and an out and out winger in Townsend.
“It paid off so credit to him for his bravery."
Midfielder Frank Lampard said: "Andros was brilliant all night against Montenegro. That was one of the best debuts you will see - and he had a goal to top it off.
"He ran at people from the start and I said to him in the dressing room, 'Carry on doing what you are doing at Tottenham'.
"You need pace and you need your players up top to create things out of nothing and run at people.”
Lampard’s Chelsea team-mate Gary Cahill added: "Andros was the difference. I thought he was phenomenal down the wing. Every time he got the ball he was positive.
"It was good to see him get the goal as well as set one up. He was brilliant. The third goal was a fantastic finish and when that went in the game was over."
Striker Wayne Rooney added his praise, saying: "Andros did great, he's an exciting player with a great future.”
Andros returned the compliment, adding: "Everyone has been giving me advice - (Steven) Gerrard, (Frank) Lampard and (Wayne) Rooney. They are all world-class players at the top of their game, so I have been delighted to come in and not only play at Wembley, but to play alongside them.
"I will take the advice they gave me back to the club and hopefully keep playing well."