West Brom‘s Conor Townsend has laid down to the gauntlet to injured Kieran Gibbs after impressing on his first League start of the season.
The 26-year-old, who signed for the Baggies from Scunthorpe last year, played the full 90 minutes as West Brom swept aside struggling Stoke at the Bet365 Stadium on Monday night.
Townsend, who was born in Hull, has found first-team opportunities hard to come by since his arrival at The Hawthorns but he hopes Monday’s performance can outline his credentials for the contested left-back position.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Townsend said: “I’ve been patient for the best part of 18 months now.
“I have always been waiting for my chance and this is obviously an opportunity for me.
“It’s a shame for Nathan because he’s been brilliant when he’s been in the team, and obviously Gibbo is still injured.
“It is a chance for me and hopefully I can take it, kick on and prove that I’m the one that should play there.”
Townsend was selected by boss Slaven Bilić due to the injury to ex-Arsenal man Kieran Gibbs and Nathan Ferguson’s three-match suspension.
He admitted that it has not been easy to settle into life in the Sky Bet Championship but hopes he can now press on and consolidate his position in the starting XI.
Townsend said: “When I first came here I was new to the league. I had played a lot of games at lower league level but it’s different when you step up.
“But I’m confident in my own ability. I know I’m good enough to be in this team, especially with us fighting at the top end of the table.
“I just want to keep doing that and keep proving that.”
Townsend will hope to secure a second successive start in the league when his team travel to his hometown to take on Hull City at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday.