Tottenham midfielder Andros Townsend has admitted he deserved to be booked for diving in Saturday’s Premier League game against Chelsea and vowed to ensure it does not happen again.
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Referee Mike Dean handed Townsend a yellow card after he tumbled over Frank Lampard’s leg in the first hard of the feisty 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane, with the 22-year-old conceding he was in the wrong as he went looking for a the free-kick.
"I deserved the booking. It was definitely a yellow card and I said to the ref at half-time," Townsend told reporters. "Obviously I have got to kick it out of my game.
"As I have come inside, the leg was there and he has pulled out at the last minute and I still went over, so it was a deserved yellow card. I didn’t have time to react when he pulled his leg out of the way. It’s sort of instinct and things happen so fast.
"I apologised to the ref. I told him I thoroughly deserved the yellow card and hopefully I won’t do it again. If the leg is there, you go over it. If there is contact, it’s not a dive. If you are running that fast, you are going to go over with any little touch."
This is not the first time Townsend has been involved in a diving controversy as he was also involved in a high profile incident as Spurs were awarded a penalty that ultimately gave them all three points against Swansea last month.
Yet he has won support from an improbable source after the embarrassing incident, with Chelsea midfielder Lampard suggesting Townsend does not deserve to earn a reputation as a diver.
"Maybe he was waiting for contact and it didn’t come and he fell over and, but he got a yellow card and let’s carry on," said Lampard. "We don’t need to turn it into a diving campaign because that would get legs very quickly. He’s a great talent and he’s going to be a big player for Tottenham and for England."