Pardew opted to go with Wilfried Zaha on the right flank during the 4-2 defeat against Liverpool, with Chung Yong Lee down the left and Townsend on the bench.
“He came to see me, he wants to play on the right-hand side. He felt he could do more," Pardew said of his decision to leave Townsend out. "We give him the right-hand side last week and Wilf (Wilfried Zaha) was terrific so I have a tough call there.
“That left side of ours we are missing Pape Souare giving us that balance of a left foot. So that side of the pitch is another area I need to work on.
“I’m not going to say that it isn’t a problem.”