West Brom happy with underdogs label - Townsend

Conor Townsend crosses the ball for West Bromwich Albion during a game
Conor Townsend joined West Brom from Scunthorpe in July 2018 and has made 212 appearances [Getty Images]

West Bromwich Albion defender Conor Townsend says they are comfortable with any suggestions of being the underdogs against Southampton in the fight to get to the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

The two teams meet again on Friday at St Mary's after Sunday's cagey first leg finished goalless at The Hawthorns.

"We felt like we were the better team we maybe should've won the game but there are plenty of positives to take," Townsend told BBC Radio WM.

"You've got to concentrate for the full game and we managed to keep a clean sheet and hopefully we can get another one at their place."

'The pressure's on Southampton'

The Baggies travel south in four days knowing Saints fans will be expecting their side to make the most of home advantage.

Townsend thinks the fact that Russell Martin's side finished 12 points ahead of Albion - and did the double over them in the league this season - will amplify that expectation and, with it, the pressure.

"They've been higher than us all season and were flirting with going up automatically so maybe the pressure's on them," the full-back added.

Southampton along with Leeds, who also drew 0-0 in the first leg of the other semi-final against Norwich, are hoping to emulate champions Leicester City in securing an immediate return to the Premier League following relegation last season.

And Townsend says anyone tipping the pair as favourites to meet at Wembley on 26 May because of their recent top-flight experience is welcome to do so.

"We're happy being the underdogs if the media want to paint it that way," the 31-year-old said.

"If those two are nailed on to go up - then fine - it doesn't make any difference to us. We'll probably use that to our advantage in the dressing room."

Townsend, who is approaching the end of his sixth season with Albion, is trying to reach his first play-off final having lost at the semi-final stage on three previous occasions - twice with Scunthorpe in League One in 2017 and 2018 and for West Brom in 2019.

He said each play-off scenario is "different" in terms of "scorelines, pressure and where clubs are at" but added Crewe's dramatic comeback from two goals down to beat Doncaster on penalties to reach the League Two final was an example of how upsets can happen.

"We saw with the Doncaster-Crewe game, if you go into it winning, you're on the back foot - you don't want to concede - and it becomes a bigger thing," he said.

"I don't think it's easier (being 0-0) but it's a bit more clear. It's a cup final, a 90- minute shootout and we know what we've got in the dressing room to get to Wembley."