SATURDAY’S 3-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Burnley has left Albion just three points above the Premier League relegation zone but there is no need to panic... yet.

Just cementing a place in the English top flight is an achievement in itself as money increasingly talks.

With the notable exception of Leicester City’s shock title win, in recent years it is virtually guaranteed that Liverpool, the two Manchester clubs, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea will be the main title contender, as is once again proving to be the case.

Albion achieved a minor miracle last season by staying in the top flight in their debut season in the Premier League.

It was a testament to the players and the club’s astute manager Chris Hughton.

An added bonus is the fact the club is so well run off the pitch and that it has a large and extremely loyal fanbase.

Indeed, many other clubs would love to have the stability that is so prevalent at Albion.

The fight for survival in the Premier League is often as intense as it is at the top end of the table, particularly as relegation can prove to be extremely costly and not just in terms of a drop in revenue.

Just take Sunderland as an example of how it can go wrong as they plummeted from the Premier League to the Championships and then into League One in successive seasons.

Albion have had a rotten run of form in the Premier League, which has heightened fears but there are still plenty of matches to go, so there is reason for cautious optimism.

And of course there is still the FA Cup. A trip to Wembley would give everyone a lift.