Les Ferdinand was a massive favourite of Newcastle fans, both on and off the pitch.

Involved in arguably the two greatest Newcastle strike partnerships of living memory, with Beardsley in the ‘so close’ 1995/96 season and Alan Shearer the following one, Ferdinand is still loved to this day by anybody who saw him in black and white.

He also knows a good player when he sees on and has picked one Newcastle star who he feels is the key to United’s survival hopes.

Les Ferdinand says that some might have questioned the price tag on Andros Townsend in January but the winger has more than ‘shown his worth’.

Initially it was Jonjo Shelvey who got all the attention with two very good performances in the homes wins over West Ham and West Brom – but it is Andros Townsend who has given United hope of staying up with consistently excellent levels of performance.

Pretty much everything good that happens going forward goes through him, whether it is his four cracking goals in only 10 starts, or the superb run and cross at Anfield when such is his threat he drew five Liverpool defenders towards him, before crossing right footed for Jack Colback to score the equaliser.

Les Ferdinand has also backed the calls of many others and believes that if Andros Townsend can keep up that level of performance and finish the job of keeping Newcastle up in these final two matches, then he has every chance of a call from Roy Hodgson.

Here’s hoping.

Les Ferdinand talking to Sky Sports

“He has gone to Newcastle and people questioned his price tag but he’s shown his worth.

“He is scoring the goals and he is putting in performances that mean he will catch the eye of the England manager.

“If he can continue that and Newcastle can stay in the division, then it gives himself every chance of being on the plane – he gives you a different option.”