Roy Hodgson believes his reunion with Andros Townsend at Crystal Palace is a ‘win-win’ for both men.
In last weekend’s 2-1 defeat of Chelsea the winger played in a front two with Wilfried Zaha and produced perhaps his finest performance since his arrival at the club 16 months ago.
On Saturday at Newcastle he returns to the club he left for Â£13million following their relegation, hoping to build on his improvement after a long period of inconsistency.
It was under Hodgson with England that the 26-year-old Townsend most regularly impressed, but though the manager insists there is no secret involved in inspiring him, he is relishing his potential.
“I saw his talent and believed he could do well,” said Hodgson. “I hope I have encouraged that but I also like to think I have done it with a lot of other players.
“I have not singled Andros out and said ‘I am definitely going to give you the encouragement’. That is the way I work and luckily you meet players like Andros who respond very well to it. It is a win-win situation.
“He likes what he is getting and feels it is helping him become a better player, and I like what I am getting because I am getting a player who will help my team win.
“I do not think it is difficult to get the best out of Andros Townsend. He is a natural enthusiast. He loves playing football. He is a hard worker who takes his football very seriously. He is a very good professional.
“I do not think it is hard to get the best out of Andros as long as, I suppose, you ask him to do things on the field of play that are within his register.
“His performance (against Chelsea) was excellent and he deserves to share the plaudits with Wilf, because we he did for us was exceptional.”
Hodgson will again have Wayne Hennessey and Ruben Loftus-Cheek available for selection at St James’ Park, but with recognised strikers Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham still injured, Zaha and Townsend are expected to continue up front.
“I would contest there is some special chemistry between (me and Townsend),” Hodgson added.
“The chemistry between us is the chemistry I share with a lot of players; that is people who are as serious as their work and their profession as I am about mine.”