Frank Lampard has revealed he gave Andros Townsend some words of encouragement before the Tottenham star delivered a match-winning performance on his England debut.
Townsend tormented the Montenegro defence with pace and direct running and scored the Three Lions' decisive third goal to leave Roy Hodgson one win away from World Cup qualification.
And afterwards Lampard admitted he had spoken to the youngster before the match to encourage him to play his natural game at Wembley.
“I told Andros in the dressing room to carry on what he is doing for Tottenham and that was one of the best debuts you will ever see,” he told reporters.
“In international football you need players with pace and you need players to create things out of nothing and run at people. Maybe it is something we did not have so much of a couple of years ago.
“All of a sudden, we have a few options so this is exciting.”
Preston manager Simon Grayson, who managed Townsend during a loan spell at Leeds two seasons ago, insists he was not surprised the 23-year-old made an instant impact.
“You could see his great potential even then,” Grayson said of Townsend.
“Andros is a special talent - a lad with fantastic ability and a real enthusiasm for playing football.
“When we had him at Leeds, he was a really good lad - very polite and enthusiastic about the game.
“He is no kind of big-time Charlie, he’s a down-to-earth boy who genuinely loves his football.
“Andros was only with us for a short space of time at Elland Road and, to be perfectly honest, he didn’t set the world on fire.
“He did okay, but you could always see what he had got in his locker. He has matured a lot over the past year, and all he needs to do now is maintain his consistency.”