Tottenham have to protect 'unbelievable' Townsend, says Holtby

The German midfielder has hailed the recent performances of the 22-year-old winger and insists he will not cause unrest in the dressing room over a lack of playing time
By Greg Stobart

Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby has hailed the "unbelievable" recent performances of team-mate Andros Townsend but has called for Spurs to proect the England winger.

Townsend burst onto the scene with a goal on his international debut against Montenegro before playing a starring role in the 2-0 victory over Poland that booked the Three Lions' ticket to next summer's World Cup in Brazil.

The 22-year-old then followed that up with his first Premier League goal for Tottenham in the 2-0 win over Aston Villa although Holtby wants the attention to subside on Townsend as he looks to adjust to his new-found fame.

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"He's playing fantastic but we have to put the attention more on Spurs now," the Germany international told Goal.

"I think it's great what the kid has done, it's unbelievable. He's creating so many chances for us and it's good to have him in the squad. But we don't want to put too much attention one player because the whole squad has done their job; everyone in the team has done a fantastic job so far.

"Everyone in the team is pleased and happy for Andros that he's receiving so much limelight at the moment, but it can turn around very quickly. You know how it is - everyone will be giving him stick if he has one bad game.

"We have to be very protective. It's about the team, it's about Spurs and it's our season."

Holtby has struggled for regular playing time since joining Spurs from Schalke in January although he is adamant he will not cause any dressing room disharmony as a result, and is delighted to have started the win over Villa on the weekend.

"I've been patient for a long time," he added. "I've been doing my job in the cup and the Europa League games. I've been getting assists, showing something and showing what I can do.

"It was a great thing that the gaffer let me play on Sunday from the start. I felt very comfortable, it was good to win and to be involved in both of the goals makes me feel a bit special. At the end of the day we won the game, and it was nice to see Robbie [Soldado] on the scoresheet as well.

"I knew it was going to be difficult when I came here. I knew it would be a very intense squad, a very high quality squad. I have to be patient, I have to believe in my strengths and show week in, week out - in training and in games - that I'm worthy of playing in the first XI. I'm just doing that. At the end of the day it’s the gaffer's decision, I'm just learning and improving my game.

"I'm being very patient but I feel that if I'm playing well as sub then I have to play. But I'm a team player. Whatever happens, I won't be the guy that busts up to anyone."