The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder would have been considered an outsider for a seat on the plane to Brazil next summer prior to the final two fixtures in the Three Lions' qualification campaign.
Roy Hodgson was, however, prepared to take a gamble on the Spurs man for two crucial contests against Montenegro and Poland.
Townsend marked his senior bow with a star showing, and a debut goal, against Montenegro, before playing his part in a 2-0 victory over Poland on Tuesday which confirmed England's automatic passage to football's global party.
The 22-year-old is now a strong contender for a place in Hodgson's 23-man squad, but appreciates that he can take nothing for granted as selections will be made based on club form over the remainder of the 2013/14 Premier League season.
"For me, I have got to put that to the back of my mind now," Townsend told Sky Sports News.
"I have got a difficult enough job trying to keep my place in the Tottenham team. We have got some fantastic players all vying for one position, so I have got to play well in every game and hopefully the rewards will come at the end of the season."
On what the future could hold for England, as they prepare for another shot at World Cup glory, Townsend added: "We're not going to get carried away.
"We know we have got some world class players, experienced players - like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard - but we have also got the youth coming through in (Danny) Welbeck, (Daniel) Sturridge and Jack Wilshere.
"So there is a nice mix of experienced players and the youngsters - the future is bright for us."