Townsend defuses joke row

Andros Townsend has confirmed he took no offence at Roy Hodgson's joke at half-time of England's clash with Poland on Tuesday.

Last Updated: 18/10/13 at 07:01

Roy Hodgson: Sorry over innocuous 'space monkey' joke

Roy Hodgson: Sorry over innocuous 'space monkey' joke

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Hodgson reportedly told a joke during half-time of the match against Poland on Tuesday with the intention of getting right-back Chris Smalling to get the ball to Townsend as often as possible.

One player was alleged to have been upset with the joke, which included the term 'feed the monkey' and dates back from when the American space agency NASA sent a monkey into space in one of their missions.

Townsend, whose father Troy works for the Kick It Out campaign, said on Twitter: "I don't know what all this fuss is about. No offence was meant and none was taken! It's not even news worthy!"

Wayne Rooney also leapt to the defence of his manager, saying via Twitter: "He done nothing wrong. This is ridiculous."

Hodgson and the Football Association are reportedly upset that his comments have become an issue, especially in the wake of all the positive press he received for securing England's place at the World Cup finals next summer with the 2-0 win at Wembley.

"I would like to apologise if any offence has been caused by what I said at half-time," Hodgson said.

"There was absolutely no intention on my part to say anything inappropriate. I made this clear straight away to Andros in the dressing room.

"I also spoke to Andros again on Wednesday. He has assured me and The FA he did not take any offence, and understood the point I was making in the manner I intended."

Kick-It Out campaign chairman Lord Ouseley called for further investigation, though, saying: "This is not a hanging offence but offence has been caused, and now it is public the FA has a duty to investigate what happened.

"All the FA has to do is examine the facts and make a statement. If they do not there will be recriminations from other players."

Townsend scored a superb goal on his international debut against Montenegro and followed that up with another eye-catching performance in Tuesday's 2-0 victory over Poland.

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."

Hodgson was also full of praise for the Spurs player after the win over Poland, saying: "We have found an outstanding winger in Townsend who has played two games as if he's been there all his life.

"When you perform that well in front of 90,000 everyone will look. It's when he's not outstanding that people will ask 'what's happened to Andros Townsend' but he will deal with that."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Footer 365

Sepp Blatter lies low as David Cameron joins opposition to FIFA president's re-election

Sepp Blatter held an emergency meeting in Zurich on Thursday morning as David Cameron joined those calling for his head.

David Cameron says that Sepp Blatter should quit FIFA

Prime Minister David Cameron has supported calls for FIFA president Sepp Blatter to quit.

Greg Dyke: Prince Ali can beat Sepp Blatter in FIFA vote

Greg Dyke has told Sky Sports News HQ Sepp Blatter can be beaten if FIFA's presidential election goes ahead on Friday.

Mail Box

Time To Step Up, Mr Platini...

UEFA should step up and extend the Euros to replace FIFA's tarnished World Cup, say a couple of mailboxers. Also: all hail Carlo, King of the Kop, and plenty more Budget XIs...

Vidic Is Part Of United's 'Budget XI'

We have post-2000 budget XIs on behalf of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs. Plus gaelic football, FIFA, more awards and the majesty of Il Fenomeno...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company