Conor Townsend stakes claim to West Brom starting spot
Conor Townsend says he is determined to make the most of his chance in Albion's first-team having remained patient for the past 18-months.
The defender joined the Baggies from Scunthorpe in July 2018 but only made 10 league starts last season – with Kieran Gibbs often getting the nod at left-back.
This season, though, has also proven to be stop-start for the 26-year-old who saw Nathan Ferguson cement his place in the side after he picked up a back injury.
But with Ferguson suspended and Gibbs struggling with a broken toe, Townsend started and helped Albion keep a clean sheet in their 2-0 win at Stoke on Monday.
Now he is set to keep his place for the trip to Hull on Saturday – the club where he began his career.
And while he admits it is not nice seeing Ferguson and Gibbs sidelined, Townsend is determined to impress in their absence.
"I’ve been patient for the best part of two years now – at least 18 months," the defender said.
"I have always been waiting for my chance and this is an opportunity now for me, definitely.
"It’s a shame for Nathan because he’s been brilliant when he’s been in the team.
"And Gibbo (Gibbs) is still injured, which is a shame too.
"But it is a chance for me and hopefully I can take it and kick on and prove that I’m the one that should play there."
During his time at Hull, Townsend enjoyed loan spells at Grimsby, Chesterfield and Carlisle as he gained experience across the leagues.
He then shone in League One during his time at Scunthorpe.
But he now feels he is ready to consistently prove himself as a Championship full-back.
“I think that’s probably true," Townsend said when asked if he now feels more comfortable in English football's second tier.
"When I first came here I was new to the league. I had played a lot of games at lower league level but it’s different when you step up.
“But I’m confident in my own ability. I know I’m good enough to be in this team.
“And with us fighting at the top end of the table I just want to keep doing that and keep on proving myself."