Andros Townsend: I've matured from a maverick at Crystal Palace
Last Updated: 04/05/18 7:23pm
Andros Townsend has revealed how he has matured from a "maverick winger" to a more dependable player at Crystal Palace.
Townsend has played the most minutes of any Palace player in the Premier League this season.
And, with his performances having helped Palace pull clear of the relegation zone in recent weeks, he told Sky Sports: "I have been here almost two years and I have really matured as a player and a person.
"When I first signed it didn't go so well, I almost left at one stage, but since then I have gone on a run where I have played the majority of the games, I have been dependable and working hard for the team, which I probably didn't do as much in the past.
"I have gone from a maverick winger to a dependable player in the team and I am pleased with that. If I can add the final bit and score some more goals I'll be even more pleased."
Townsend has only scored twice this season for Palace, who face Stoke on Saturday live on Sky Sports, and he added: "I am happy with the assists and 'key passes' but goals I am not happy about.
"I am a forward player and have played up front the last few games. A return of two goals I am not happy with, you ask any of the boys in the dressing room and I am really frustrated with that, but we are winning games and I am getting assists so at this stage of the season the main thing is the team picking up three points and putting in good performances."
Townsend has been playing up front alongside Wilfried Zaha as Palace have won two of their last three matches to move onto 38 points in the Premier League.
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Asked about his new role, he said: "I really enjoy it. I have said before that when Wilf is on the left and I am on the right, because Wilf is the main man, everything goes down the left and I feel left out on the right.
"But when we were are together up front I feel I can get more involved in the play and I can contribute a lot more to the cause. Wilf has also thrived up there so it's a system that has worked for us as a whole.
"It's no secret the effect he has on our team. He's a massive player for us and everybody is grateful to have him at the club. Hopefully he can be at the club a lot longer."
Palace are six points clear of the relegation zone and need just one more point to guarantee their survival.
They could also finish as high as ninth, which would be their highest Premier League finish, having lost their first seven games of the season without scoring.
"It's incredible to think we lost our first seven games and were written off," said Townsend. "Now we are 11th and in with a chance of finishing in our highest position in the Premier League.
"It's testament to the boys and the manager and the work we have done, and we want to finish the league on a high."
Asked about the impact that manager Roy Hodgson has had at the club, Townsend added: "He was probably feeling dejected after he left England so this was the perfect job for him to get his spirits up and his confidence back and to get him believing he is good enough to do this job.
"Everyone is grateful to him, from the players to the staff to the media team to the fans for the job he has done and hopefully he can continue next season."
Watch Stoke v Crystal Palace live on Sky Sports from 11.30am on Saturday