December 13 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Andros Townsend has held his hands up after his dive during Saturday’s London derby against Chelsea and admitted: “It was a deserved yellow card.”
The winger put in a fine first-half display at White Hart Lane, playing a key part in some of Tottenham’s most threatening moves.
However, his performance was slightly marred when he went over Frank Lampard’s leg despite there being no touch from the Chelsea man – and he was consequently booked for simulation by referee Mike Dean.
“It was definitely a yellow card,” conceded Townsend. “I said to the ref at half-time that, as I have come inside, the leg was there and he has pulled out at the last minute. I still went over so it was a deserved yellow card and obviously I have got to kick it out of my game.
“It goes so fast. I have come inside and I have seen the leg and I have gone to go over and he’s pulled it out at the last minute. I didn’t have time to react to that.
“It’s sort of instinct, things happen so fast. You make mistakes and that dive was a mistake. I apologised to the ref. I said to him at half-time that I thoroughly deserved it and hopefully I won’t do that again.”
Despite his admission, Townsend insists that the penalty he won earlier in the season against Swansea’s Jonjo Shelvey was a legitimate one.
“The penalty I won against Swansea, people said that was a dive but if you are running that fast, with any little touch you are going to go over,” he said.
“When you watch it in slow motion it doesn’t look like a foul but when you are running that fast you are going to go over with the slightest touch.”
Townsend’s battle with England’s left-back Ashley Cole was an interesting duel during the showdown with Jose Mourinho’s Blues on Saturday, and the 22-year-old Spurs man was certainly up the challenge and the occasion.
He freed Roberto Soldado for a low cross which was well defending by Branislav Ivanovic in front of the incoming Paulinho – and the winger then gathered Kyle Walker’s clever backheel and hared at John Terry before sliding the ball through to Paulinho, who hit the post.
Indeed, Townsend’s dive immediately followed a superb turn which left Cole for dead, and he said: “I play my game with no fear, whether it’s against Ashley Cole, Kieran Gibbs or whoever.
“I just go out there, enjoy myself and try and make things happen. In the first half I did that. In the second half it didn’t quite happen for me but there are positives signs going forward for me.
“In the second half Chelsea had to commit more men forward and we were on the back foot so I didn’t really have a chance to get forward, but that’s football. We got a point and we will move on now.
“I think we are a match for anyone on our day and you saw that in the first half especially - and on Tuesday night the manager made eight changes and we ran out deserved winners [against Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup].
“You can see we have good squad depth so we will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.
“The lads are disappointed that we didn’t get the three points we deserved, but we still picked up a point. We have to pick ourselves up and go again and try to get three points against West Ham.”
Before then, Spurs head to Russia to face Anzhi in the Europa League on Thursday – the same day that England boss Roy Hodgson will name his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland.
Townsend got his first call-up to the senior set-up in August – although he did not get onto the pitch to win his first cap – and he will doubtlessly be hoping to retain his place and get another chance to make his debut for the Three Lions this time.
However, he insists he has enough on his plate staying in the Spurs side without worrying about Hodgson’s thoughts.
“He [Hodgson] said to me before the last two games that he had been watching me, not only this season but the last six months when I was at QPR - and he told me to continue what I am doing and I will get in the squad,” said Townsend.
“That is what I am going to try to do - just try to play well every time I have an opportunity and hopefully I can break into that squad again.
“I am just fully focused on playing for Tottenham when I have the chance. I have a tough enough battle trying to stay in this team, and anything else is in the distance really.
“I just have to focus on Tottenham and try and play well for Tottenham, and hopefully the other rewards will come if I am still playing well.”
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