A deserved England call-up for Andros Townsend after some excellent displays at Newcastle in the final few months of the season.
Now the winger is hoping to survive the final cut from 26 down to 23 players and will hope for pitch time as England face Turkey on Sunday and Australia (at the Stadium of Light) on Friday 27 May, before Roy Hodgson has to make his choice.
England then play Portugal at Wembley after the final squad is chosen and face Russia in their first group game of the Euros at 8pm on Saturday 11 June.
Talking about his relief at the decision, Andros Townsend had special thanks to go in two directions for helping in his call-up, the winger saying ‘I can’t speak highly enough of the Newcastle fans and Rafa Benitez’.
To be honest the feeling of mutual. After Rafa Benitez, I think Andros Townsend is the only player I would be really gutted about losing, he is the first at Newcastle since Hatem Ben Arfa to be able to go past a player and is easily United’s most creative outlet.
Two other things have also impressed: his willingness to work back and also the fact that he did so well despite not playing a full 90 minutes in the Premier League for almost two years before he arrived at St James Park.
Andros Townsend say Rafa and the fans ‘helped get my confidence from under the ground’.
If that is what he can do from such a low starting point, it looks guaranteed that he will be tearing up the Championship next season if (everything crossed) he is still at Newcastle.
“It was such a relief after days of speculation, some saying I would be in and others saying not.
“Hopefully I can do enough to make the final cut.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the Newcastle fans and manager Rafa Benitez.
“They have helped get my confidence from under the ground, where it was six months ago, to back up where I want it to be. I am back on top form. I feel good, fresh and sharp.
“I am not naive, maybe I got my chance because Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got injured but I need to take it with both hands.
“I am just getting into my stride and I always said that if I got a run of games, then I could get back to my best form and get back in the England squad.”