Premier League: Tottenham's Andros Townsend expects to come back stronger
Tottenham's Andros Townsend hopes to come back better than ever at home to Manchester City on Wednesday night.
By Lewis Kavanagh
Last Updated: 27/01/14 12:48pm
The 22-year-old England winger looks set to return to the Spurs side in midweek, having been sidelined since pulling his hamstring in the Capital One Cup home defeat by West Ham on December 18.
Townsend believes his lay-off may have actually done him some good after a busy period for club and country.
"When you're a footballer, you're disappointed when you're injured," Townsend told the Daily Telegraph.
"But you have to take the positive in every negative. Yes, I was injured. But I had a hectic six months at the start of the season.
"It's given me the chance to reflect, recuperate, and try and come back even stronger.
"You could take it one of two ways. You could mooch around. Or you can take the positive and look to come back stronger. Now, I'm looking to the Man City game to come back better than I was. I'll be ready."
Townsend was on a fine run of form before the injury, and was starting to establish his place in the Spurs side having made 14 appearances in the Premier League.
"Before this, I think I'd missed one game of football since I turned professional," he said.
"So it was a new experience to deal with. But what I've found in my career is that you learn from new experiences. It's not the injury that counts: it's how you deal with it."
Townsend is a product of the Spurs youth academy, but it hasn't been easy for him to get into the first team.
"You always believe in your ability," he added. "You always think at the end of it you will reach the top. But you have to put in the hard yards. At a massive club like Tottenham, opportunities will come, but not straight away.
"You have to get out there and prove that you deserve to have them coming your way. The only way that's going to happen is if people see you playing. That's what I did."
The England winger has been on nine loan spells in four years, but looks to now be cementing his place in the Tottenham first-team squad.
"Every opportunity I had, I went out on loan," he explained. "I put my skills to the test in League One, the Championship, and then finally the Premier League. That's what you have to do. You have to go out there and prove it. It makes you."
Townsend's most noticeable loan was when he burst into the QPR team last January. He managed to impress, despite QPR failing to stay in the top-flight, with two goals in 12 appearances.
"I went back to Spurs and started my pre-season with my confidence at an all-time high," said Townsend.
"Aaron Lennon got injured and I had the opportunity. I was determined to use that chance to cement my place in the squad. I did more than I expected, if I'm honest."
Townsend's performances this season were recognised by Roy Hodgson, who handed him his international debut in September. He excelled for England with a man-of-the-match display in an important World Cup qualifier against Montenegro in October.
Townsend has worked with Tim Sherwood through his time in the Tottenham youth team, and is now looking to excite the new manager.
"I worked with him for four or five years in the youth set-up," he says. "He's always been supportive of my abilities, always told me not to waver from what I do, to never change from trying to take people on and make things happen.
"In that way, he's been a huge influence in my career. Hopefully now he's in charge I can start repaying his faith, break back into the Spurs team and start scoring goals for him."