Andros Townsend reflects on his decision to quit Newcastle

Andros Townsend and Rafa Benitez

Andros Townsend and Rafa Benitez

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Andros Townsend says he wanted to stay at Newcastle United for "a few years" – but was forced to move on by relegation.

The winger joined Crystal Palace last summer in the wake of the club's drop into the Championship.

Townsend – who has spent six months at St James's Park – felt he had to stay in the Premier League for the sake of his England career.

United manager Rafa Benitez wanted to re-sign the 25-year-old in January, but the club was unable to land him on a loan deal.

"I went to Newcastle and said ‘I want to stay here for a few years’, but unfortunately that didn’t work out and I had to move to stay in the Premier League," Townsend told The Daily Telegraph.

Townsend was playing for Tottenham Hotspur's reserve team following a fall-out with manager Mauricio Pochettino when Newcastle signed him in January last year.

Andros Townsend

Andros Townsend

Reflecting on the past two seasons, he said: “Lot of ups and downs.

“If you go back to last Januar,y I was playing for Spurs Under-21s against Liverpool at Chester, and then fast forward four months I was in England’s provisional squad for the Euros."

Townsend, one of the few players to shine in the latter months of last season, rediscovered his form playing for Benitez at Newcastle, but he didn't make Roy Hodgson's final England selection for Euro 2016.

“I knew I wasn’t getting in the Spurs squad and I had to move on," he went on.

“And I knew to make a positive impact at my next club I’d have to be playing football. So I asked the manager if I could play in the Under-21s for a month or so. He was happy.

“But there were games when I wasn’t even standing out for the Under-21s and I’m thinking ‘where’s my career going here?’.

“Thankfully, I was given the chance at Newcastle and got back to playing the football I knew I was capable of. Everything was so positive.

“It’s just the one negative that we didn’t stay in the Premier League. I was signed to help them stay up and it didn’t happen."

Townsend, signed by ex-United manager Alan Pardew, is again battling relegation.

Palace, now managed by Sam Allardyce, are 16th in the Premier League and four points above the relegation zone.

“The main thing I took from that is that a team is never too good to go down," said Townsend.

“Maybe last season we were looking around thinking ‘we’ve got good players, we’ll be all right’, and in the end we weren’t.

"So now this time around, we have a dressing room full of international players – good players – but you can’t just say ‘we’ll be all right’. We have to make it happen.”

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