Townsend excelled on loan at QPR last season, scoring twice in 12 impressive appearances, but he was brought back down to earth this summer when he was banned for four months - three of which were suspended - after breaking betting rules.
Villas-Boas is delighted with how the 22-year-old has responded, however.
"Andros has been working well in training, so we felt it was time to give him an opportunity and he did very well," the Tottenham manager said.
"If we have the type of performance we had to today (from him) we can always count him.
"For all the young players we are bringing through the competition they face is extremely difficult and in my opinion, when you overcome that type of opposition you can only become a top player.
"He is doing it the right way. He seems very focused after last year's experience."
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