‘We were a lot better’ - Townsend

Conor Townsend believes Albion were back to their best in the 1-1 draw against Leeds United at The Hawthorns on New Year’s Day.

The Baggies shared the points with their Yorkshire counterparts after Semi Ajayi’s early opener was cancelled out by a deflected Patrick Bamford header in the second-half.

And the left-back, who came on for Kieran Gibbs midway through the first half of Wednesday’s entertaining clash, insists they must now maintain that performance level for the 20 remaining Sky Bet Championship fixtures.

He said: “During the season ourselves and Leeds have been the best two teams, as the league positions tell us, and I think you could see that on the night.

“It was a really competitive game and I think, to be fair, a draw was probably a fair result. We need to take it into the second half of the season and really build on it.

“We’ve still been picking up points but performances haven’t been where they were before. We know that in the dressing room, it’s something we’ve spoken about.

“We’re confident that if we perform on the pitch then we’re more than likely going to get the results. We’re looking at really picking up the performances. Against Leeds we were a lot better, more like what we are.

“It’s all good and well doing it against Leeds, we need to do it against every team in the division.”

Townsend has made 12 appearances for Slaven’s side this season and featured in all three of the games over the festive period.

He was satisfied with his own performance against Leeds, and says pre-match preparation was key in helping him step into a fast-paced top-of-the-table showdown.

“I thought I did alright. It was a tough game to come into after 15 or 20 minutes,” said Conor.

“I knew Gibbo was nursing a bit of an injury so I was just trying to make sure I was ready, though I probably didn’t expect it to be so early.

“I wanted to be ready when called upon and try not to let the lads down.

“I try and prepare the same whether I’m starting or on the bench. I think the majority of the lads will too, it’s a very professional group of players.

“We’ve obviously got ambitions to go up, that’s the target and that’s what we’re trying to build towards.

“We need to look to build on that point going forward, especially in the next couple of weeks.”

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