Townsend feared 'last-chance saloon'
England midfielder Andros Townsend has admitted he feared his Tottenham career was on the brink of failure after being repeatedly sent out on loan before permanently returning to White Hart Lane this season.
Townsend, 22, was loaned to nine clubs after graduating to the Spurs first team in 2009, with his most recent spell at Queens Park Rangers last season providing the breakthrough he needed.
The England international had only played a handful of matches for his club before the start of the 2013/14 season, but has quickly established himself under Andre Villas-Boas and was rewarded with his international debut.
Although the future now looks bright, Townsend was concerned he no longer had a place at Tottenham, particularly when he was told he would be released, only for the club's management to change their minds.
"I had grown up a Spurs fan so to be told you are not good enough is obviously heartbreaking," he said. "But then 24 hours later I was back in, so I was delighted and wanted to take that second chance.
"I thought it was last-chance saloon for me. I had been through an unsuccessful loan spell at Watford [in January 2011] and I had three or four months to save my reputation. Thankfully, I went to Millwall [in March 2011] and I excelled.
"Then after the loan at QPR, I had proved myself in the Premier League so it was either now or never to see if I am good enough for a top club.
"The new manager [Villas-Boas] said that he wanted me to be more involved this season, he said he saw my time at QPR and thought I had a future at Spurs and did not want to sell me.
"That gave me the confidence from day one to not feel any pressure to perform or be sold, to just play my normal game."
Townsend was completely out of the international picture ahead of South Africa 2010, but now harbours realistic ambitions of cementing his place at next year's World Cup in Brazil.
"I was nowhere near it (England) at that stage, and I did not think it would happen this soon," he said. "Hopefully now I can keep playing well and secure my place on that plane.
"For every young kid it is a dream to play for your country and at the World Cup. Now I have got my foot through the door with my first two caps, I can kind of taste it, and I am not going to let that opportunity slip, to think back in 10 or 15 years what could have been.
"I just want to make the most of my opportunity and whenever I am given the chance, I just have to take it."
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.