Andros Townsend explains how Tottenham exile enabled stunning Newcastle free kick

The Newcastle winger scored a superb effort to secure a vital three points against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend has revealed to the Chronicle how his stunning match-winning free kick against Crystal Palace on Saturday can be attributed to being exiled from the first team at Tottenham Hotspur.

Townsend whipped in a superb strike from 25 yards to win the match for the Magpies against the Eagles and lift the club out of the relegation zone for the first time in nearly three months.

The 24-year-old had not played for Spurs since October when he was brought to St. James' Park for a fee of around £12 million at the end of January, but he has hit the ground running on Tyneside, scoring four goals in his first 11 appearances.

The England international admits that first-team exile at White Hart Lane frustrated him, but credits his fine dead-ball strike on Saturday to the extra work he put in on the training ground during that spell.

Townsend told the Chronicle: "At the back end of last year I used to stay back out for hours, practising free-kicks, left foot then right foot. It was frustrating, but all that hard work on the training field eventually pays off. It paid off in dividends against Palace – in front of 52,000 fans.

"It was just a massive relief. In the first half Crystal Palace were extremely difficult to break down, and we knew it would be a set-piece or a cross that would break their resilience. Thankfully, it was me that did that and I’m delighted.

"I have scored goals when we were 5-0 down and 3-0 down then a third goal in a 3-0 win against Swansea. But this is what you live for, moments like this when your team really needs it. I’m glad to repay the faith and hopefully in the last two games I can contribute with more goals and assists."

Townsend's form has been one of the big plus points for the Magpies in the last few months, and he has become one of the stars of their resurgence in recent weeks.

Rafael Benitez has led his side to two wins and two draws from their last four games - with nearly a quarter of their points this season coming in that period - and that form has seen the side move a point clear of the relegation zone with just two matches to go.

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