Working-class roots shaping Conor

CONOR Townsend's career comes full circle on Saturday as he makes his return to the club where it all started.

Born in Hessle, a self-proclaimed "working-class" town on the outskirts of Hull, Conor spent five years at the Tigers Academy as he began to forge a career in football.

Loan spells took him around the North of England to proud, traditional football clubs - Grimsby, Carlisle and Scunthorpe among them - where he crafted his "hard-working" style.

"I'm from a working-class background," he says.

"My family wasn't wealthy, we were a working-class family from a working-class city.

"I'm not sure, maybe that's why I've always worked hard wherever I've been. It's part of my game and hopefully the fans can see that.

"I've done things the hard way to get where I am. A lot of people don't see what goes on behind the scenes but I work hard and try and get better each day.

"Albion have given me the chance to do that here so I'm just trying to grasp it."

His friends and family may be cheering on the Amber and Gold on Saturday but there will be no room for sentiment, says Conor.

"Hull is where I started out and I've supported the club since I was young.

"They gave me a great start and a foundation to make a career in the game.

"This will be the first time I've played against them this weekend so it'll be nice to go back and see some familiar faces."

He joked: "Most of my family are Hull City supporters. Hopefully I can score the winner and shut them up!"

Should Kieran Gibbs recover from a minor hip complaint, the 25-year-old may find himself back on the substitutes' bench despite an impressive display against Blackburn Rovers last weekend.

Conor added: "Gibbo has been playing really well so there's no complaints.

"It's all part of the process. I've had to get my head down and prove to the gaffer I'm worthy of playing when I get the opportunity.

"Kieran and I chat quite a lot about certain scenarios. It's always good to pick the brains of players in your position - I've done it everywhere I've been to be honest.

"You're always learning, even up to retirement. I'm adapting to this standard and I'm trying to learn from Kieran as much as possible."

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