Albion 3, West Brom 1

The biggest positive of so many to take from Albion's first victory in the Premier League is the manner in which it was achieved.

It is difficult enough to beat any side in the care of Tony Pulis, a master of defensive organisation.

To defeat them so decisively is quite a scalp for Chris Hughton and his players.

Not as glamorous as a result against one of the top six would be, but in the context of the survival aim a real tonic.

Particularly after the disappointing end to the transfer window, when the failure to land a striker on the back of a tough opening three games without a win or a goal raised early concerns about the prospects of steering clear of the bottom three.

Hughton said: "I can understand it, because we did try and it was a position we wanted to bring in. From the supporters' point of view they did as well, but once you get to the end of the window it's the signal to work as hard as you can with the squad you've got.

"Once the window closes, as a manager you speak to the group as a whole about expectations and about 'this is it', the group of lads that have the responsibility to make sure we are in this division next season.

"Then you look for responses from them, from players that might have felt they wouldn't get as many games and it might not happen for them.

"That's how you work. Always the most important players are the ones that are here."

The last signing of the summer was supposed to be a forward, who in all probability would have replaced Tomer Hemed. The first was significant for the tactical adjustment made by Hughton to help cope with the step up.

Pascal Gross (below right) arrived from relegated Ingolstadt to fill the number ten role, playing behind one central striker rather than the twin strike force in a 4-4-2 that was fundamental to promotion.

The Argus: For the system to work, he needs to exploit pockets of space between the opposition defence and midfield, and link effectively with the more advanced front man.

Gross not only scored either side of half-time, the king of assists for the past two seasons in the Bundesliga also supplied the third for Hemed (below).

The Argus: The Israeli target man was repaid for setting up Gross's second goal. Hughton could not have wished for more.

"It was ideal," he said. "I'm really pleased for both of them. They both worked hard. Tomer had almost an identical chance at Watford that hit the post. I was really pleased to see that go in."

Hemed's attitude during his time with Albion has always been exemplary. Others in his position - no new contract offer and nearly sold back to the Championship - might have been demotivated.

"Tomer came back in really good shape in the summer," Hughton said. "It's not a secret, the players generally know as much as we do.

"The strikers would have all known we were trying to bring in a striker, but that's the game. If anything it should always inspire them to do as well as they can.

"That's always the best way. It's a little bit like being dropped from the team. Once you go back in there you've got to do well enough to make sure you stay there."

Gross faces competition for the number ten role, primarily from Chelsea loanee Izzy Brown. He is due to resume training tomorrow for the first time since hurting a hamstring against Manchester City on the opening day.

Gross's determination to make an impact prompted him to initially drop deep into his own territory. Hughton scowled and ushered him forward.

"I know why, because he wants to get a touch of the ball," Hughton said. "But for us and the way we want to play with Dale (Stephens) and Davy Propper, who is settling in really well, we've got two central midfield players that are good on the ball and can find bodies and space.

"I'd rather have him receiving the ball higher up the pitch than that deep."

Gross eventually damaged West Brom where Hughton wanted him, in the final third. Delivering a crossfield pass to Solly March, then receiving a cross in return beyond the far post, he cut inside to score with a shot which deflected past Ben Foster via Jonny Evans.

Foster had a poor day. His handling was suspect and he thumped the ground in frustration as Gross, released by Hemed, beat him again with an angled low drive from 20 yards.

Foster's misery was complete when Hemed's header from Gross's cross squeezed past him at his near post.

The Argus: West Brom finally roused themselves once Pulis made changes. Substitute James Morrison pulled a goal back (above) and anxiety increased as they threatened another, but it was far too little too late to affect the outcome.

The only other side to have scored three against them in the Premier League since March are Manchester City, a clear indication that Albion are growing into the challenge confronting them.