London: Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend is relishing his return to Newcastle United but is not expecting a warm reception at his former club, the 26-year-old said ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match at St James’ Park.
Townsend joined Newcastle in 2016 and impressed in 13 appearances at Tyneside but left midway through his first season to join Palace after the Eagles triggered his release clause.
Palace, who are bottom of the table, got their first league win this season when they beat champions Chelsea last weekend and Townsend is targeting a second victory regardless of the atmosphere.
“I’m not sure I’ll get a good reception but I had a fantastic time there,” Townsend told British media.
“Unfortunately it didn’t end well but I thoroughly enjoyed my time there with the fans and I’m looking forward to going there and see a few familiar faces. I’ll enjoy it.
“Ultimately we are going there for business, to win a football match and that’s all I’m focused on.” The England international compared Palace’s current manager Roy Hodgson to former boss Sam Allardyce, who helped the club escape relegation last season before stepping down, and believes the Eagles will start winning games soon.
“It’s similar in the way (Hodgson and Allardyce) work. They like to do a lot on the training field; very hands on, the pair of them,” Townsend added.
“They like to go through every scenario that will occur on the pitch so that when it occurs you are ready for it.
“Like Sam, it wasn’t a quick fix: we didn’t initially pick up results but eventually you saw how well we were playing towards the end of last season and I’ve no doubt in my mind that we’ll get to that again under Roy.”