Andros Townsend on England's inspiring 2-0 win over Germany in UEFA Euro 2020

Virgin Radio

30 Jun 2021, 09:26

Pinch us. Is this real? The boys have gone and done it. After beating Germany last night in a nail-biting, palpitation-inducing match, Crystal Palace midfielder Andros Townsend joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about the euphoric Euro win, Gareth Southgate's sterling job and the after-match chat.

He told Chris: “I was worried about the game. We’re talking about Germany, a team who always seems to get the better over us. I think Germany started the game more defensively solid… they were denying Harry Kane, Sterling and Saka any of the ball so I think Germany actually implemented the formation a lot better than England, but England were braver. 

"Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice were pressing the German midfield and I think in the end that bravery won us the game. I was nervous because even though we had the better of the chances, we had the better of possession, it's Germany and I was always worried the longer the game goes on at nil-nil, it's Germany and they will break our hearts."

On not contacting the players before or after the match, he said: “I’ve left them alone. I've been in that position where you have everybody messaging you, you don't need that. You don't need somebody you played with five years ago messaging you good luck, so I've left them to it. 

"Thankfully I got to speak to a few of them after the game. I was pitch side and John Stones and Kieran Trippier walked over so I gave them a quick congrats, obviously with COVID you can't do much, wished them good luck for the next game and then they went on to their families, but it was nice to speak to a couple of them."

On the power of the England team and who's sat on the bench, he said: “It is actually frightening. You look on that bench last night, there was Foden, Mason, Mount, Jack Grealish… the fact that Gareth Southgate has the luxury of keeping them on his bench will only do us good as we go through the tournament."

On the superb Southgate and the culture he's created, he said: “He's been there, he's played for major tournaments, he knows the pressures that come with it so he's created a really relaxed, vibrant atmosphere and you can see that seep into the performance last night.

“I was one of those when he first got the job who was worried that he wouldn't be able to handle the big names but in his second squad, a few of the boys went out drinking let's say, he disciplined them, he dropped Wayne Rooney and that's when I thought, right, he's got the respect.

"He's not afraid to make the tough decisions and on the other side, he's a very caring person. I was in two squads with him. He was always talking to me, seeing how I was, so I think he's got it all because he's played, he knows how to deal with the international scene, so he’s been unbelievable for England.”

How was the after-match chat? He shared: “I was there with Ashley Cole and he said the same. He said he’d never seen an atmosphere as good as that. We were dreaming about possibly a final.

"Ashley went to major tournaments and never really got to a final where he wanted to get to but he was saying there's a real possibility of getting to a final now.

"Us as ex players, we can dream, but those players in the England squad can't think beyond the Ukraine on Saturday night.” COME ON ENGLAND!