Townsend eager to play his part in Luton's relegation battle after injury forced him to sit out twice at Everton

Winger looking to do all he can to help the Hatters survive
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Town winger Andros Townsend is relishing the chance to finally play a meaningful role in a Premier League relegation battle this term.

The 32-year-old was starting to think his career might have been over when failing to get a club after being released by Everton in the summer, starting to focus more on his media commitments.

While at Goodison Park, the former Spurs and Newcastle United wideman suffered a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury in March 2022 which ruled him out of the Toffees’ ultimately successful fight so stay up, which they did under Frank Lampard on the penultimate day of the season when beating Crystal Palace 3-2.

Andros Townsend goes up for the ball with Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk on Sunday - pic: Liam SmithAndros Townsend goes up for the ball with Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk on Sunday - pic: Liam Smith
Andros Townsend goes up for the ball with Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk on Sunday - pic: Liam Smith

Sidelined for the whole of the 2022-23 campaign, Townsend was reduced to a watching role as Everton once more flirted with relegation, once more only securing top flight safety on the last day, this time under Sean Dyche. seeing off AFC Bournemouth 1-0.

Unable to help his former club at all, the former England international signed for Luton last month and has already played three times for the Hatters since, helping them claim two points, with a cameo and slightly dubious assist in a 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest, and then starting Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool.

On the feelings of ending an 18-month wait to be included from the opening whistle, Townsend said: “It was was amazing to be out there, contributing again.

“The last two years at Everton, I’ve not been able to help.

"I've had two relegation battles and I’ve just been injured, in the gym and not being able to do anything.

"So just to be fit, to be able to help, whether it be Monday to Friday, whether it be in the gym, whether it be on the bench, playing, it’s just amazing to be able to help again.

"If the manager feels that I'm starting or on the bench, it’s just good to be able to help.

"My mindset was just enjoy it.

"I’ve had some dark days with the rehab, not thinking that I would ever get this day again, so for me I just enjoyed that feeling of playing again.

"Whether I lasted 90 minutes, 60 minutes, 45 minutes, I was just going to give my all in the time that I was on the pitch.”

Townsend will now be hoping to keep his place with Luton go to Manchester United tomorrow looking for a first ever win at Old Trafford.

With the Red Devils in a poor run of form, losing nine games already this term and suffering four defeats from six in front of their own fans, the England international wants his team-mates to make the most of their opportunity, adding: “We have to use absolutely everything.

"In the week (before Liverpool) we were talking about Kenilworth Road and making it hard for teams, big sides to come here.

"The crowd are on top of you, they’re loud, they’re aggressive, they feed off us and we gave them stuff to shout about with our work-rate and our press.

"The plan will be different on Saturday.

"It might be getting in their faces and hoping that the crowd has the opposite effect, but we’ll get our rest and then focus on Manchester United.”