Albion have been pro-active, lively and energetic off the ball this season.

That is due to a conscious effort by boss Chris Hughton to press more effectively, right from the first day of pre-season.

At times, they have shown what can happen when they get in teams’ faces.

Especially teams who pass from deep, such as Fulham.

But there is a reason why Hughton, whose team were so disappointing so often on the road last season, wanted more energy this term.

On Monday, we got a reminder of what happens when they are passive, conservative and don’t get stuck into teams. And it wasn’t pretty.

Albion were dismal in the first half of their 2-2 draw at Southampton. The performance was widely compared to the one they turned in on the opening day at Watford which, as anyone who went to Vicarage Road will tell you, says it all.

Glenn Murray felt the order to press from higher, involving Yves Bissouma and Davy Propper, was key to the visitors’ upturn in performance against the Saints.

Officially, Albion lined up in a 4-3-3 formation at St Mary’s.

We listed it as 4-1-4-1 in these pages because that was what it looked like, with Dale Stephens just ahead of the defence.

Certainly, Murray might have been surprised to learn he was part of an attacking trio in the first half.

He was a very lone front man until his side got into their stride.

Murray, whose late penalty secured the point, told The Argus: “The manager tells us in no uncertain terms when we deserve it. But I don’t even think he needed to tell us.

“We looked around at ourselves at half-time and we knew it wasn’t good enough.

“He made a few little alterations and you could see the difference in those.

“We looked like and we felt like a different team in the second half.

“We just decided to push Biss and Davy a little bit higher and stop giving them so much possession in front of us.

“Personally, being in the game – and I don’t know how it looked from outside – it didn’t feel like they broke us down much in the first half.

“It was a fantastic strike for their first goal and then a penalty.

“For all our lack of quality on the ball in the first half, I think we did quite a good defensive job and they didn’t break us down.

“But we gave them a lot of possession and then in the second half, with the small tweaks, I think we won the ball higher up the pitch and built from that. We ran around a little bit more, we pressed a little bit higher, we were braver and we got our just rewards.”

That reward was a first comeback point away from home in the Premier League.

Last season they had two wins and three draws when keeping clean sheets. Their away tally was completed by 1-1 draws at Southampton and Stoke in which they led at half-time.

It was a long time since their fans had travelled home on a high, as they did on Monday.

As for the last comeback from two down away from home, that was at Brentford in the promotion season and included a goal very similar to their first on Monday with Shane Duffy meeting a teasing, inswinging cross delivered from quite deep by Anthony Knockaert.

Murray felt the timing of Duffy’s goal this time was key.

Southampton’s form at St Mary’s has been flat. The NBA-type pre-game show just before the teams emerged smacked of a club feeling they needed to do something, anything, to re-ignite the home support.

But it was their first-half superiority and a special strike from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg which brought belief which Duffy then punctured.

Murray said: “Away from home, if you get one back it makes the home crowd a little bit uneasy.

“I think getting one off the back of their second really helped.

“They really didn’t settle down into the game or get a flow in their play. We managed to hit right back and then all of a sudden the atmosphere changes and we are on the front foot. And they are on the back foot.”

And we are back where we were on January 31. With Murray taking the ball in front of the away fans and lining up a penalty against the man who was briefly a colleague at Crystal Palace, Alex McCarthy.

Murray studies goalkeepers. Goalkeepers study Murray.

The striker, who went high towards the corner most recently against Fulham, felt McCarthy would dive one way or the other.

And he did – to the corner into which Murray shot at St Mary’s last season.

The Argus:

Murray said the fact the penalty was so late did not change his thoughts on where to put it.

He said: “In the circumstances it was just to keep a cool head and get good purchase on the ball.

“I was always going down the middle and hit the target and thankfully he got out of the way of it and it went in the back of the net.

“We keep picking points up. It’s not ideal going 2-0 down each week and we have got to eradicate that but we can give ourselves a pat on the back for being tough enough and brave enough to come back from these holes.”