By Tottenham correspondent Tony Hughes
Andros Townsend has been dropped from the Tottenham squad after lashing out at the club’s fitness coach during a heated row.
The England international was captured by photographers being involved in an altercation with Nathan Gardiner in a post-match warm-down session following Spurs’ 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Monday night.
Townsend, who is yet to start a Premier League match for the club this season and was an unused substitute against Villa, appeared to shove Gardiner in the chest and then shout at him.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed Townsend was banished from first-team squad and has been dropped from the Spurs squad as a disciplinary measure for tomorrow’s Europa League clash against Anderlecht.
Speaking today, Pochettino said: “It was in public, there were pictures, we can’t hide it. It’s a private matter but when there is an action, there is a consequence. He did not train with the group and he is not available to be selected tomorrow.
“It’s always my decision if he is part of the squad. The discipline for me is very important. We have a young squad and the player made a mistake, and when you cross the limit it is important to stop that. I am very friendly but the discipline is very important.
“The staff need to show respect to the player and the player needs to show respect to the staff. He recognised that he made a mistake. It is my decision, you need to pay. There is always a consequence.”
Pochettino confirmed that the England winger, a lifelong Spurs fan, has apologised for his actions, but did not confirm whether or not the club had fined him.
The Argentinean added: “He recognised it was a mistake. I can understand because I was a player and when you don’t play you’re unhappy and sometimes your expectation is bigger.
“But it was not normal behaviour. He is young and you need to understand that it isn’t the way to impress the manager. He needs to learn about football, about behaviour, about discipline, about a lot of things. Football is not only about taking the ball in your feet and playing. You have a responsibility as a professional.”
Townsend, who started only 10 Premier League games last season, has been linked with a move away from White Hart Lane having failed to establish himself under Pochettino.
But, when asked whether the player still has a future at the club, the manager replied: “All players have a future. It’s up to them if there future is here.
“Football can change quickly. We believe in him and he can give us very good things, but it is up to the player when he has the chance.”