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Conor Townsend looking for West Brom improvement after international break

Southampton v West Bromwich Albion – Premier League – St Mary’s
(Image credit: Glyn Kirk)

West Brom defender Conor Townsend admits his side have to improve when they return from the international break after a 2-0 defeat to Southampton left them languishing in the bottom four of the Premier League.

It could have been an even worse defeat for the lacklustre Baggies at St Mary’s with goalkeeper Sam Johnstone having made three diving saves before Moussa Djenepo’s 41st-minute opener,

Oriol Romeu then volleyed into the back of the net to double Southampton’s lead midway through the second half in what was a comfortable home victory for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.

Townsend told the club website: “The lads are disappointed and we all know we can and should be doing better than that.

“In previous games we’ve started well, but we didn’t do that today and that’s down to all of us on the pitch. We need to improve on that.”

Promoted West Brom have now picked up just one point from four games since returning to the Premier League,  and lie one place above the relegation zone.

The 27-year-old added: “We know we can compete in this league. We didn’t manage to do that this afternoon but we’ve got to dust ourselves off and move on.

“We’ve got the international break now and will be working really hard in training as we have been. We’re all determined to turn it around.”

Hasenhuttl praised Southampton’s performance, calling it “another step forward” as his side secured their second consecutive victory following defeats in their opening two Premier League games of the season.

When asked about the importance of consecutive wins and clean sheets, the Saints manager said: “It’s important for the guys. We changed a few things, we were working on a few things and it works.

“The team was very committed and I feel that we feel confident in what we were doing, very aggressive and this was another step forward to the way we want to play.

“We didn’t give any chances away, the pressing was very convicted and with the ball, a good balance of taking risks sometimes and playing behind.

“We could see that we had two weeks working together after the pre-season, where we had no time to do any prep.”