Hodgson hails Townsend impact

12 October 2013 08:46

Roy Hodgson hailed a brilliant performance from Andros Townsend but insisted the job was 'only half done' after England had taken one step nearer the World Cup finals in Brazil.

Townsend scored a stunning second-half goal and picked up the man-of-the-match award on his debut as England beat Montenegro 4-1 at Wembley in their qualifier to stay in control of Group H.

If Hodgson's side beat Poland at Wembley on Tuesday they will qualify for Brazil next summer.

Wayne Rooney scored the opening goal after a nervy first half and that was followed up by a bizarre own goal from Branko Boskovic.

Dejan Damjanovic pulled one back for Montenegro but 22-year-old Townsend's strike and a late penalty from Daniel Sturridge after he was brought down in the area clinched the victory.

Hodgson admitted the selection of Townsend was a tough one but said: "The most important goal really was Andros's third because that restored our two-goal margin.

"Andros's goal took the wind out of their sails and gave us time to compose ourselves again.

"He made a big impact. He got the man of the match which he must be delighted with. It can't be easy for a young man making his debut in a game of that nature.

"He deserves all the credit which I am sure he is going to get because he played well, with a calmness and composure which I have seen him play with for QPR and most recently Tottenham. I was fortunate he was able to reproduce it tonight.

"We had a lot of time to think about our selection. It was not easy to leave people like James Milner and Jack Wilshere out, as they also bring a lot of attacking flair.

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44