Tottenham winger Andros Townsend eager to cement place in England squad during games against Chile and Germany
The 22-year-old played a major role in ensuring England qualified for the World Cup
Tuesday 12 November 2013
Andros Townsend is determined to cement his place in Roy Hodgson's World Cup plans over the next eight days.
Townsend enjoyed one of the most memorable England debuts in recent memory last month when he scored a thumping drive and set up another goal against Montenegro.
The Tottenham winger followed that up with another impressive display in the victory over Poland and he has been rewarded with a call-up for the upcoming friendlies against Chile and Germany.
But the 22-year-old knows he still has plenty of work to do before he books his ticket to next year's World Cup.
Townsend only has to look at how some of his current and former Spurs team-mates have fared on the England scene in recent years to guard him against complacency.
Manager Hodgson handed Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore and Steven Caulker a cap each last season, but they have not featured for England since.
"It does sound good, being called an England international, but I have had two games and there have been a lot of players who have started their international careers well and have faded away," Townsend told FA TV.
"I can't let that happen to me, I have to keep playing well and try to force my way onto the plane next summer."
Many have spoken about the lack of top-class players available for England, but Hodgson has plenty of options in the wide positions.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott would probably both be in the current squad if they were fully fit while Hodgson is a big fan of Raheem Sterling.
Townsend's Tottenham team-mate Aaron Lennon has recovered from his injury problems while Ashley Young will fancy a late tilt at the World Cup squad if he rediscovers his form at Manchester United.
With only one more friendly against Denmark in March before the England manager picks his provisional squad, Townsend knows the Chile and Germany games will be crucial for his chances of making the cut.
"We have a big, fantastic squad and every one of us is going to be trying to impress in training and the games to try and get to Brazil," Townsend said.
"There aren't many opportunities from now until the summer to play for England and impress the manager so everyone will be giving 100 per cent and looking to catch the manager's eye."
England, who have had to move their training base after a virus broke out at their hotel in St George's Park over the weekend, host Chile on Friday, but the most mouthwatering fixture comes four days later against Germany.
England have not played Germany since they eliminated the Three Lions in controversial circumstances at the 2010 World Cup.
Joachim Low's men will be one of the favourites for the tournament in Brazil next year and Townsend believes the friendly will be a good acid test for England's World Cup chances.
"I think that is a great opportunity to test ourselves against the best going into next summer," Townsend added.
"We can see where we are, we can see what we need to work on and see how far we have got to go to be one of the top nations, so it's a great friendly.
"It's one that I and every one of the 28 squad members are looking forward to getting involved in."
Not that Townsend is feeling underwhelmed by the prospect of facing Chile, who qualified for the World Cup after finishing third in the fiercely competitive South American group.
"Chile have got some fantastic players, no more so than Alexis Sanchez, who plays for Barcelona, so it's not going to be an easy game," Townsend said.
"It will be a great occasion. They will come here looking to try to win the game so it should be a good open encounter and I'm looking forward to it, should I get the chance to step onto the field."
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