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August 20 2018 7.26am

Townsend ready for season opener

August 5 2018

Andros Townsend

Andros Townsend

Crystal Palace wide man Andros Townsend says the players are fully prepared for their Premier League start against Fulham.

The Eagles have had their first full pre-season under manager Roy Hodgson and are shaping up well following an unbeaten goal-blitzing summer campaign.

They have hit 19 goals in their five summer outings, and along with Saturday's 4-1 success over Toulouse, it has given Townsend plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

"We couldn't ask for anymore," said the 27-year-old. "We had a good victory last week against Reading. We knew it would be a step up in class [against Toulouse] and the first 25 minutes I think we were second best.

"But once we got going, once we got our game together, we were deserved winners and it was the perfect preparation for the start of the season on Saturday."

Townsend, who won a penalty which Luka Milivojevic converted against Toulouse, insists he is not leaving Palace despite newspaper speculation linking him with a return to Newcastle.

He added: "I have got three years left on my contract. The club want me here, the fans want me here, I want to be here, so for me there is nothing to it.

"There is always gossip surrounding myself every summer but I don't really pay much attention to it. I'm happy here and hopefully I can be here for many years."

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