Roy Hodgson: 'Andros Townsend needs to be protected'

Hodgson: 'Townsend needs to be protected'
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England manager Roy Hodgson urges people not to put too much pressure on Andros Townsend too soon following the Tottenham winger's recent international exploits.

England manager Roy Hodgson has warned that people risk putting too much pressure on Andros Townsend if they continue to eulogise the Tottenham Hotspur winger.

The 22-year-old scored on his Three Lions debut last week, a 4-1 victory over Montenegro, and then also starred against Poland four days later to help his country reach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Townsend only made his first Premier League start for Spurs at the start of this season following an impressive loan spell at Queens Park Rangers, and Hodgson has demanded that his sudden rise to international stardom should not be overhyped, in order to protect his development.

Hodgson told reporters: "The spectacular performance in the first half against Poland was quite frightening. Andros really stepped up in those two games."

"The only thing that worries me is that all of a sudden, from being a player who has been loaned out nine times and whose manager [Andre Villas-Boas] said I was wrong to pick him because he was not ready to play international football, he is now a world hero in the same class as Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

"The lad needs a break. People need to accept he is still a young man who is learning his trade at this highest level. I would want to protect him as best I can and I am sure his manager would say the same."

Townsend has recently signed a contract extension at Spurs, reportedly worth just £16,000 a week.

Spurs winger Andros Townsend in action against Millwall on July 17, 2013
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