By Saikat Mandal

20th May, 2022 | 12:10pm

West Brom duo Darnell Furlong and Conor Townsend will change roles next season

West Brom boss Steve Bruce is looking to make a tactical switch in defence that will see roles for Darnell Furlong and Conor Townsend change next season.

Bruce is not only expected to make necessary changes to the squad but also to make changes in tactics and systems that will help him get the best out of his players.

Last season, he went on with the same system, carried out by Valerien Ismael, that is using three-men at the back, but the Baggies boss now wants to shift to a four-man defence.

Writing in his latest column for The Athletic, Madeley shared a big difference that will be made to the starting squad from the start of next season.

“There is a fundamental difference of opinion between West Bromwich Albion’s current manager and his immediate predecessor about the attributes of two first-team regulars,” he wrote.

“It will see Darnell Furlong and Conor Townsend change roles again next season as Steve Bruce looks to put his own stamp on the West Brom team. Bruce is intent on switching permanently to a back four.”

Make sense

The use of full-backs are an important element in modern-day football. Take Liverpool for an example, who are heavily reliant on Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.

Ismael used the the Baggies duo as wing-backs in his side. Of the two, Townsend has been more of an attacking threat from the wing-back role while Furlong is more effective from full-back position.

Bruce wasn’t entirely happy with the system but didn’t want to make drastic changes. He will now ditch the three-man defence idea, and will implement any system that uses four-men at the back, with wingers playing big roles.

West Brom have two creative wingers in Grady Diangana and Matt Phillips. The Baggies boss wants to make best use of them, while wants to add Millwall winger Jed Wallace to the side.

Both the wing-backs are naturally attacking players, and Bruce probably feels that even if he uses in the conservative full-back role, it won’t curb their attacking instincts.

West Brom struggled to score enough goals last season, and Bruce will have to address that. The tactical switch could benefit the team in the long-run and he has the entire summer to get it right.

In other West Brom news, one player who proved to be a bright spot this year won’t be at the club next year and a former Baggies player has reacted to the news.

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