Kevin Phillips wants Conor Townsend back in wing-back role at West Brom
We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…
Kevin Phillips wants to see Conor Townsend return to the left wing-back role after playing as a left-sided centre-back in his last two West Brom appearances.
Due to the injury crisis in Valerien Ismael’s defence, 28-year-old Townsend has been moved into the back-three with Adam Reach taking his place at wing-back.
However, the move has stifled Townsend’s ability to get forward with stats by WyScout showing the ex-Scunthorpe ace ranks fifth in the Championship for expected assists this season [2.48].
Townsend’s assisted two goals in his eight Championship appearances so far this season and Phillips believes that due to his crossing ability, Valerien Ismael needs to do something to continue getting the best out of the left-back.
Speaking to West Brom News, Super Kev said: “It’s a tough one – but who else can go in?
“It could be time to change to a back-four and play Townsend as a left-back because he gets up and down, he creates opportunities and he gets crosses into the box but he can’t really do that as a left-sided centre-half.
“Maybe there’s frustration from the supporters that they’re not getting the best out of him in terms of going forward because he’s a good player.
“It could be something Ismael looks at tonight. But do I think he will change the system? I don’t think he will, to be honest.
“I think he’ll go with the same because they didn’t get beaten [at Preston] and with it being a home game with the supporters there, they could have another go at getting that win.”
Townsend has come a long way since arriving at The Hawthorns from Scunthorpe in 2018.
He was third-choice left-back behind Kieran Gibbs and Nathan Ferguson at one point but the Yorkshire-born ace is now one of the key players at the Black Country club.
In other West Brom news, this Albion player appears to have deleted his social media accounts after being abused online.