Newcastle v Crystal Palace: Townsend confident as Mags seek three precious safety points

Newcastle winger Andros Townsend is gunning for victory against FA Cup finalists Palace
Newcastle winger Andros Townsend is gunning for victory against FA Cup finalists Palace
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Andros Townsend is hopeful that Newcastle – who have taken five points from their three home games under boss Rafa Benitez – can beat Crystal Palace tomorrow to boost their survival hopes.

Benitez believes that the second-bottom Magpies must win all of their remaining fixtures – they also meet Aston Villa and Spurs – to have a chance of staying up.

“We’re always confident,” said Townsend.

“We’re a confident bunch of boys, especially at St James’s Park where we know we’re a match for anyone. We’ve shown this season we’re a match for anyone at home.

“Palace are a good side, but we’re going to go into the game full of confidence and hoping to get another three points.”

Townsend, signed from Spurs in January, has scored three goals for his new club, and he is desperate to contribute more in the final three matches.

“I’ve been happy with the amount of goals and assists I’ve been able to contribute to this team,” said Townsend. “I know the hard work starts now.

“We’ve got three games left, and if we’re going to stay up, not just me, but the whole front four are going to need to contributes with goals and assists.”

Townsend is understood to have a release clause in his contract allowing him to leave for a reported £8million fee in the event of relegation.

However, he has given no indication that he will seek to leave if the Tynesiders go down.

The match sees Palace boss Alan Pardew make his first return to St James’s Park since leaving Newcastle in December 2014.

Asked about his time there, he said: “I had some fantastic moments there, and fantastic games – quarter-finals of the Europa League, we finished fifth and manager of the year.

“We had some great moments and also had some difficult moments.”

Asked about his return, he added: “It’s not about me. It really is about Newcastle and us trying to get three points.” Though Palace are not yet mathematically safe, Pardew said of Newcastle: “I’m desperate for them to stay up.”