Andros Townsend: Andre Villas-Boas praises 'fearless' midfielder
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas believes "fearless" England midfielder Andros Townsend now has a vital role to play in Spurs's Premier League season.
Townsend, 22, followed up impressive England displays in World Cup qualifiers against Poland and Montenegro with a goal in his side's 2-0 win at Aston Villa.
"He is a fearless player. He doesn't fear the competition here and has the ability to produce performances to guarantee his place in the team," said Villas-Boas.
"He gives us so many attacking options and takes the team forward with his driving forward and his link-up play."
Townsend, who spent four months of last season on loan at Queens Park Rangers, scored the first goal at Villa Park before Spanish striker Roberto Soldado, 28, added a second to take the White Hart Lane club up to fifth in the Premier League.
"I thought it was a great performance by Andros," said Villas-Boas. "Like the team he grew as the game went on.
"He wants the ball and shows for the ball. He is very grounded and down to earth.
"You have to give credit to the player and his loan at QPR worked for him. He had to wait for his chance and he got it when Aaron Lennon got injured.
"He has shown all his drive and motivation to stay at Spurs and we are very pleased for him."
Villas-Boas played down potential comparisons with departed forward Gareth Bale, who joined Real Madrid for £85.3m (100m euros) in August.
"It is early beginnings for Andros in his life at this club," added Villas-Boas.
"Gareth's influence had grown immense and it is early beginnings for Andros, but it is down to the player's ability and his drive."
Tottenham had lost 3-0 at home to West Ham in their last match and Villas-Boas was pleased with the response from his side.
"It was a great performance," said the Spurs boss. "We improved with time because the beginning was difficult as we had lots of long balls to deal with.
"The opening goal was important to bring confidence and we really played well in the second half. We deserved to go 2-0 up.
"It was the right response after the defeat by West Ham and it is good to see us near the top."