Ankle operation rules Townsend out of World Cup

TOTTENHAM winger Andros Townsend will miss this summer’s World Cup after the club confirmed he will undergo an ankle operation today.

The 22-year-old suffered the injury during a late cameo appearance in Spurs’ 1-0 win at Stoke at the weekend, though limped through the remainder of the match having been the third and final permitted substitute.

England manager Roy Hodgson must assess alternative options ahead of his preliminary squad announcement on 12 May.

A statement on the club website read: “Following further examination and consultation, Andros Townsend is to undergo surgery on his left ankle on Thursday after damaging ligaments during our fixture against Stoke City last Saturday. The injury is likely to sideline the young winger for up to 10 weeks.”

Townsend marked an explosive England debut with a goal against Montenegro in October in the penultimate game of a successful World Cup qualifying campaign.

However, his momentum was halted by a hamstring injury suffered at the end of 2013 and has since struggled to nail down a regular starting berth with Spurs.

The north London club also spoke out yesterday to deny an approach had been made for a new manager to succeed Tim Sherwood in the summer.

Sherwood is expected to leave his post, despite only signing an 18-month deal in December, and Dutchmen Louis Van Gaal and Frank de Boer have both been linked with his job.

But Spurs said: “Reports that we have made approaches to other clubs regarding coaching staff are wholly inaccurate. We have NOT contacted any club regarding coaching appointments.

“We regret that a statement such as this is necessary, however we feel it is important to clarify matters.”

And former goalkeeper Ray Clemence, who won the 1984 Uefa Cup with Spurs, backed Sherwood to continue in his role.

Clemence said: “I would hope he would be given a bit more time.

“Tim has a good record compared to Arsene Wenger [Arsenal] and Roberto Martinez [Everton]. But everyone is talking about Tim, who has nearly done as well as they have towards the back end of the season, getting the sack.

“It’s a strange world we live in.”

ROY’S WINGERS

Who will replace Townsend?
■ Raheem Sterling (Liverpool)
■ James Milner (Manchester City)
■ Adam Lallana (Southampton)
■ Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal)
■ Aaron Lennon (Tottenham)
■ Ravel Morrison (West Ham)