Andros Townsend has admitted he was relieved to score his first goal for Crystal Palace in their 4-1 dispatching of Stoke City.
The £13million summer signing was also named man of the match as he provided his new team’s most consistent attacking threat of a fluid performance.
Despite being Palace’s record signing before the more recent arrival of the £27million Christian Benteke, Townsend had yet to convince in his five previous appearances for the club.
In Sunday’s victory over Stoke, however, his speed and directness was finally rewarded with an assist and an individual goal from the edge of the area in the 75th minute that put his team 4-0 up.
Manager Alan Pardew has again spoken of the winger’s potential to earn an England recall, and he has also appeared an upgrade on the £25million Yannick Bolasie, who left for Everton.
Asked of his performance, the 25-year-old Townsend responded: “It was definitely the first game I have enjoyed this season. It is no secret I have been frustrated with my own form, not contributing the way I would have liked.
“Getting a goal and an assist, that is why the manager brought me in. Hopefully I can continue to repay the faith.
“I was brought to this club to score goals and help this club improve on where they finished last season. The first four (league) games was not anywhere near the standard that I expect of myself.
“(Sunday’s) Was the first game where I have really been happy with my performance. Hopefully I can keep that good form up in the next few weeks.
“Put it this way, I think the boys are happy I got my goal! I will be a bit happier in training next week.”
It was from Townsend’s delivery that James Tomkins gave Palace the lead. He combined well with Wilfried Zaha when the two rotated to switch Townsend to the right wing, and also with left-back Martin Kelly.
Kelly retained his place in Pardew’s starting XI after a car crash left Pape Souare with jaw and thigh injuries that are expected to rule him out for the coming six months, and Townsend said: “It has been a difficult week.
“We got our first win of the season on Saturday (at Middlesbrough) and everyone was delighted. Then you get the news on Sunday and everyone was back down to earth.
“Football is irrelevant when something like that happens to one of your team-mates. Football goes to one side. It could have been a lot worse and we are happy it is not a lot worse.
“Pape is going to be out for a few months but everyone is just thankful he is still with us. I am sure he will get back out there on the pitch. He is a very motivated person and I’m sure he will get back out there.”