mercurial The Crystal Palace star, who made his senior England
debut three years ago, has only 11 caps and has missed the last two major
He replaced the injured Raheem Sterling in Gareth Southgate's squad for the
World Cup qualifiers against Malta on Saturday and Slovenia on Tuesday after
initially being left out.
But, after joining Crystal Palace from relegated Newcastle in the summer,
Townsend is out to prove he deserves to stay in the England set-up.
vapor He said: "It's nice to be back. I missed the last few trips.
Now I'm back and hopefully I can make the most of it.
"I didn't know Raheem was out. I got a call Monday afternoon to say I was
replacing somebody. I have been happy with my form, I started a little bit
slowly, didn't make the first squad but I was happy with my form, and thankfully
I have been given the chance through someone else's misfortune and hopefully I
can make the most of it."
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cleats Townsend scored on his England debut, a 4-1 win over
Montenegro, but missed the 2014 World Cup with an ankle injury and was left out
of Roy Hodgson's final Euro 2016 squad.
But a lack of game time at former club Tottenham – he made only three
appearances in the Premier League in the first half of last season – hampered
him and he is eager to progress again.
He said: "Three years ago is a long time ago and I don't want to compare
myself to a previous time. Three years ago, I only scored one goal in the
Premier League all season. Maybe I was taking people on more, but now I have
matured a lot and am getting crosses early into the box. That is getting me more
assists and hopefully I am getting more goals."
The 25-year-old joined Palace after just six months at Newcastle following
the Magpies' relegation from the Premier League last season.
He insisted Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez understood his decision but accepted
he upset the fans.
obra "He texted to congratulate me on my England call-up. He
understood and all is well there," he said.
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purecontrol "I understand why people were frustrated, why some
people were upset. I'd like to think personally I played well enough in the time
I was there, I gave my all to keep the club. At one point it looked like we were
going to stay up but unfortunately it didn't happen. I got the opportunity to
stay in the Premier League and I had to take it."