Conor Townsend's verdict on Southampton defeat

Conor Townsend is interviewed by WBA TV after the defeat to Southampton

Conor Townsend says the players were really disappointed to not be able to back up the positive pre-match atmosphere with three points on the pitch on Friday night.

The Baggies lost 2-0 at home to automatic promotion-chasing Southampton following strikes from Ryan Fraser and David Brooks – their first defeat at home in the league since the start of December.

The game came less than 20 hours after news that Bilkul Football WBA, LLC – a company ultimately owned by Florida-based entrepreneur Shilen Patel and his father Dr Kiran C. Patel – had reached an agreement to acquire an 87.8% shareholding in West Bromwich Albion Group Limited, the parent company of West Bromwich Albion Football Club.

Townsend’s team were denied a penalty in the first 45 with the score at 1-0, but the defender stressed the importance of looking at their own performance rather than pointing towards decisions made by the officials.

He said: “There’s maybe a sense, especially towards the end, that we were beaten by a better team tonight.

“Going into the game, with the news of the takeover, there was a lot of positivity around the place and you could feel that.

“We’re disappointed that we’ve not been able to back that up with a win.

“It was a tough game. They’re a good team.

“I’ve just told the media there that after we went 1-0 down, the reaction was brilliant. We tried to find a way back into the game and we were on top.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t make it count. We need to take our chances when we’re on top in games like that.

Conor Townsend is interviewed by WBA TV after the defeat to Southampton

“The second goal kills it. They seem to take their chances to kill games off at right times. It was an important goal for them and it knocked the wind out of our sails.

“I couldn’t see much of the penalty decision on the pitch. I’ve watched it back and I think it’s a difficult one for the referee to see it, but that’s what the linesman is for.

“His arm is out and I think VAR probably does give it.

“We’ve had chances other than that. We can’t just blame the officials. We need to be better and look at ourselves.

“We’re disappointed because we feel like we’ve got good enough players to win that game.

“We need to dust ourselves off and work towards Tuesday.”

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