Express & Star

Conor Townsend is flying again under Carlos Corberan's West Brom guidance

Conor Townsend feels his improved Albion form is down to the impact of head coach Carlos Corberan.

Conor Townsend (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The Baggies left-back, 29, has been a consistent regular in Corberan’s three months at the helm after he endured a stuttering start to the campaign.

Former Scunthorpe man Townsend confessed to what he felt was a worst performance in his four-and-a-half years at the club during Corberan’s first match in charge – a 2-0 home defeat to Sheffield United in October.

But the Spanish head coach credits Townsend for bouncing back and enjoying a run of form, something the defender is keen to continue.

“His first game was Sheffield United and I think that was probably my worst game for the club, I’d say,” Townsend told the Express & Star.

“But obviously since then, with the structure he’s put in and performances I think I’ve given, I’ve taken on board what he wants from me and tried to implement it.

“I think I’m doing well at the moment and hopefully that can continue.”

Only Jed Wallace and Dara O’Shea who have featured in all 28 – in O’Shea’s case not missing a single minute – have played in more league games than Townsend’s 26 this term.

The experienced Erik Pieters was added to the squad as competition and back-up but, having been required to fill in as an emergency centre-back, Townsend has grasped his opportunity on the left. Corberan said: “In the previous games he is showing a very stable behaviour, helping the team in attack and helping the team in defence.

“I am very pleased with his, maybe reaction, from when I arrived at the club. Because I am watching one left-back who is stable and helping the team get the results.”

The former Huddersfield head coach had challenged his Albion players to find a level of confidence and belief in their ability even before fortunes on the pitch had changed for the better.

“I agree with what he’s saying, but it’s hard when you’ve been losing (often) to just flip it and be confident,” Townsend said on being confident in tough times.

“You start winning games – and it’s not just that, it’s how we’re playing – we know we’ve been playing well and got the players to do whatever, it sort of breeds more confidence within us and allows us to play good football, which we have been doing.

“The win at Luton was scrapping, it was always going to be there, but it’s been enjoyable.”

Townsend added of Albion’s position among the Championship’s play-off chasers: “It’s obviously a lot nicer than looking down the table, which we have been for a long time now.

“There’s that hope there and long may that continue, but there’s 20 games to go. We’re in a good position but it’s nowhere near done so we’ve got to keep going.”

The last-gasp defeat at Burnley last Friday did check the Baggies’ progress.

Albion were up to third while leading at Turf Moor but defeat kept them down in sixth, before rivals took advantage and left Corberan’s men down in 10th.