How Chelsea hero helped Townsend ahead of his England debut

Frank Lampard reveals the pre-match words of wisdom her imparted to Tottenham Hotspur star.

England head in to their concluding World Cup qualifying group game against Poland on Tuesday evening at Wembley Stadium knowing that victory will ensure their place in the finals in Brazil next summer.

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The one-point cushion they have over Ukraine was successfully retained last Friday as, even though the Yellow-Blue slayed Poland 1-0, England's 4-1 demolition of Montenegro kept them atop Group H with a commanding goal differential.

One of the stars of England's wide margin triumph was Andros Townsend, a 22-year-old winger from Tottenham Hotspur who had, prior to the game, been uncapped and was regarded to be more of a gamble selection than the experienced presence of, say, James Milner.

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England manager Roy Hodgson's bet was well-placed, however. Townsend's directness and positive play helped engineer a comfortable three points and his performance was punctuated by a stunning goal struck from distance with his right foot.

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Chelsea midfielder and accomplished international Frank Lampard has claimed that, before the match started, he took Townsend to one side in order to give him a pep talk: 'I told Andros in the dressing room to carry on what he is doing for Tottenham,' he is quoted to have said by Mirror.

The result? 'That was one of the best debuts you will ever see.'

Lampard continued: 'In international football you need players with pace and you need players to create things out of nothing and run at people. Maybe it is something we did not have so much a couple of year ago.'

Against Poland tomorrow night, in front of a home audience that could be challenged for passion and noise by 18,000 Polish supporters, Lampard - and England - will be hoping Hodgson doubles down and plays the in-form and confident Townsend one more time.

image: © geetarchurchy

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