Express & Star

Stand-in West Brom skipper Conor Townsend eyeing late play-off charge

Conor Townsend wants to mark his spell with the Albion armband with a late push for promotion.


It is the Baggies left-back's turn to stand in as captain for Carlos Corberan's side, with club captain Jake Livermore out of the reckoning and Dara O'Shea injured for the season.

Townsend turned 30 last month and revealed his love for Albion in his fifth season at the club – and is keen to make it a memorable end to the campaign for more reasons than leading the team.

"I'm very proud, obviously when I first joined to now it's my fifth season and I love the club," Townsend told BBC WM following Albion's 2-1 defeat at home to Sunderland.

"I love the area and to be captain in the past few games has been a very proud feeling.

"Hopefully we can make it one to remember by obviously getting to Wembley and getting promoted."

Townsend added: "You see the results, a lot went our way, everyone struggling, it's getting to that time where whoever puts that run together is the team that sneaks in.

"We've won the last two before Sunday, it was a blip but we'll go and get some points in the last three games and give ourselves a right chance."

Former Scunthorpe left-back Townsend has been a regular this season with 45 appearances in all competitions. He has featured in all 43 Championship fixtures so far, starting in 41 of them.

He was one of the brighter performers as Corberan's side lost their unbeaten home record of almost six months and 13 games in Sunday's painful reverse against the Black Cats.

The full-back saw a powerful second-half header pawed away by visiting keeper Anthony Patterson while also claimed to be manhandled deep in the box from another Baggies set-piece.

Corberan's gripe following the rare home defeat with his side's lack of a clinical touch in front of goal. John Swift's penalty opened the scoring with Tony Mowbray's visitors the more dangerous side.

And while Albion passed up a couple of opportunities to extend their advantage with some scruffy second-half efforts, Sunderland were not as wasteful and climbed above their hosts into the top six, leaving the Baggies with a big mountain to climb.

Townsend was in agreement. He said: "We went in at half-time 1-0 and I thought the first half was pretty even, I didn't think we were amazing.

"In the second half we started brilliantly, created a lot of chances but didn't take them. That's the main point from today, they seemed to take their two chances and we didn't and it's cost us.

"We were happy at half-time and wanted the second goal to kick on. We'd seen at home to Wigan and Huddersfield it was 1-0 and cagey towards the end, anything can happen at 1-0, a scrappy goal and it can cost you.

"I think you saw that, the chances we created especially start of the second half. We just needed one to go in and then they get the equaliser. Both teams were pushing at the end for the winner, maybe we got caught a little bit trying to get the winner, I'm not too sure.

"But the main thing is we've had a couple of chances we should take, myself included, then it's a different game.

"The lads have spoke in there and we are disappointed because it's a big game but there's no point feeling sorry for ourselves, we've got three big games to go and we're still right in it. Go to Sheffield and get a win and it's a different matter."