Winger hoping to be involved in some capacity against Nottingham Forest
New Town attacker Andros Townsend is ready to be in contention for a first Premier League appearance in over 18 months when the Hatters head to Nottingham Forest this weekend.
The 32-year-old was snapped up by Luton before the international break, agreeing a short term contract until January after becoming a free agent when leaving Everton in the summer.
His last outing for the Toffees came back in March 2022, as he suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury during the 4-0 FA Cup defeat against his former side Crystal Palace on March 20, 2022, which was to ultimately sideline him for over a year.
Having fully recovered, the ex-England international spent pre-season with Burnley, also then training at former club Spurs when his anticipated move to Turf Moor fell through, going on to join up with Town at the Brache to prove his fitness before the deal was confirmed.
Townsend played 90 minutes in a up Premier League Came against Leeds United recently, as he completed another hour in Tuesday afternoon’s 3-2 defeat for the U21s against Northampton Town at Hitchin Town’s Top Field ground.
With the Hatters going to the City Ground tomorrow, Townsend insists he is ready to be involved if manager Rob Edwards wants to select him in the squad, as speaking after the game, he said: “They’re all big games in the Premier League away from home, but I’ve done 60 now, I’m ready.
“If the manager needs me on the bench, hopefully I can come on for 15, 20 minutes and change the game, but I’m just happy to be here and happy to help, whether that be in the dressing room, on the training pitch Monday to Friday, or on Saturday from the start or from the bench.
“I feel good, I feel sharp in training, I suppose it’s down to the manager if he feels I’m up to speed to go straight into the squad.
“I really hope so but that’s down to me in training to show him that I’m ready.
“I’m really looking forward to Saturday and hopefully being involved again in a Premier League fixture.”
Townsend made a real impact with the U21s in midweek, scoring his first goal in a Hatters shirt when his swirling left-footed free kick caught out the Northampton keeper and went in off the underside of the bar.
He also hit the woodwork with another set-piece, before then forcing a save out of the Cobblers stopper when having a crack on his right boot as well.
The ex-Crystal Palace and Newcastle winger knows that being able to use either foot can give him that extra edge over an opponent during his latter years, continuing: “It’s something I’ve always practised since I was a young boy.
“If I’ve done it on the left foot, I’ve done it on the right foot as well and it pays off as when you get to the age of 30, you become a bit more unpredictable, which I use to my advantage.
It was my second game with the Development squad so it’s been good to get that football.
“You can’t really replicate that in training, so it was good to get that end-to-end minutes before hopefully the Premier League awaits.”
Having spent almost three weeks with his new team-mates now, Townsend has been hugely impressed by what he has witnessed at Kenilworth Road.
They return to top flight action sitting just above the relegation zone, with six defeats from eight matches so far, but the experienced wideman is confident as the season progresses, they can get the results their performances have merited.
He added: “They’re exactly what I expected, a very hard working group, no bad eggs, no bad characters, everyone pulling in the right direction, whether you’re playing, on the bench or not even in the squad.
“That’s definitely good and the games I’ve seen we have deserved better.
“They created loads of chances, but have just not been able to find the back of the net.
“So there are positives and hopefully the more that the players and the team get used to being in the Premier League, the games that you’re losing 1-0 start being 1-1s and 2-1s to Luton.”