England coach Roy Hodgson hopes Andros Townsend will repay his faith in him
Roy Hodgson has challenged Andros Townsend to show again he has what it takes to shine on the international stage.
Last Updated: 05/03/14 8:02pm
Townsend made a massive impact on his England debut, scoring in the vital 4-1 win over Montenegro, and he followed up that performance with an encouraging display against Poland, when Hodgson's men secured their place in the World Cup finals this summer.
But the 22-year-old winger has been frustrated by a hamstring injury since, and he was picked for the friendly with Denmark next week despite only having made four Premier League starts since October, the last coming in November.
Hodgson had no qualms about picking him in a 30-man squad to face the Danes although the recent emergence of Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana, and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain's return to fitness, will make it tougher for him to force his way into the squad heading to Brazil.
"We hope he can still have the same impact (as he did in October)," Hodgson said.
"He deserves to be in this 30. I didn't want to leave him out of this squad because he has had the injury and had not got back into the Tottenham team yet.
"I have shown him, I hope, that I have got faith in him and I hope he is going to do well and show me what he can do. He certainly did in October. He repaid my faith enormously.
"Now he has got to repay my faith in amongst this 30 and in the next couple of months by playing well for Tottenham."
Hodgson is also keen to have another look at Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez, who struggled on his international debut against Chile in November and was taken off at half-time.
Rodriguez has been in fine form for his club since that disappointment and Hodgson praised him for the way he has reacted.
"I am very pleased that taking him off at half-time has not damaged him in any way and in fact he is playing even better now than when we selected him," he added.
"I think he fully deserves his place among that group of forward players and he will be one of those putting the others under pressure for a place in the 23. He's in the 30 on merit."