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Conor Townsend: Everyone at West Brom must be ready to step up

By Matt Maher | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Conor Townsend claims every member of Albion’s squad must be ready to step up for the cause as the Baggies chase promotion through the play-offs.

Conor Townsend made his 10th start of the season at Reading on Easter Monday

The 26-year-old left-back was one of several players drafted into the starting XI as caretaker boss James Shan rang the changes for Monday’s 0-0 draw at Reading.

Albion are now guaranteed to finish in the play-offs, with Midlands rivals Villa their most likely opponents.

And Townsend admits every player at the club needs to be ready when called upon.

He said: “With the squad we have got we have all got to be firing. You never know when someone might suffer an injury.

“We have a good squad, a big squad and everyone has to be at it. It gives us a chance.

“On Monday there were few changes, perhaps because the manager was looking after a few people. I think it is good for us.”

Albion, who sit fourth in the table, can still finish as high as third, yet a showdown with Villa is by far the most likely outcome.

But Townsend continued: “We don’t know who it is going to be yet. There are still a couple of games to go.

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“When it gets to that point, we will deal with it. Whatever opposition is in front of us.

“Anything can happen in the play-offs. We just have to make sure we are ready for it and building up to it. We will be.”

Townsend has been limited to just 10 Championship starts since joining from Scunthorpe last summer, thanks largely to the excellent form of Albion’s first choice left-back, Keiron Gibbs.

But seven of those have come since the start of last month and Townsend, a product of Hull’s youth system, feels he is finally up and running at The Hawthorns.

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“It was difficult coming in and out of the team, playing one game and then back out for the cup games,” he said. “You are never really fully fit. Match fitness is hard when you are not playing.

“It has been nice to have a run in the team and hopefully I have got better as I have gone along and shown the fans what I can do.

“All season Gibbo (Gibbs) has been brilliant and one of our most consistent performers.

“It is nice to learn from him and when called upon I have to step in and try to fill the void.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star

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