Boss Chris Hughton says a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup would be “huge” for relegation-haunted Albion.

It will give fans a lift and improve the mood at the Amex if they get past Derby County ahead of vital home games in the fight for Premier League survival.

Albion have gone four games without a win at the Amex, their worst home run since reaching the Premier League.

The visit by Championship play-off contenders Derby in the fifth round (12.30) is followed by home matches against Huddersfield, Cardiff and Southampton, although the fixture against the Welshmen will have to be rearranged if Albion go through.

Hughton said: “It’s vitally important and we know the games which are coming up. We know we have to play a lot of teams around us at the Amex.

“In my time here, we’ve had a very good record and we’ve made it a difficult place for opposition to come. We need to continue doing that.”

Hughton believes a return to winning ways at the Amex can ease the palpable anxiety amongst supporters which accompanied last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat by Burnley now that Albion have dropped to within three points of the relegation zone.

He said: “I hope so. Any anxiety in the crowd – and I think we have a very good and level-headed crowd – is normal.

“They want to see the team winning.

“If there is a little bit of frustration that we’re feeling it’s because we are going through a period where things don’t go for you.

“Certainly the Burnley game, we’ve played worse than that and won.

“Sometimes you go through those periods. So, any anxiety is normal and you have to accept it.

“But a win lifts everybody. Certainly a win on Saturday, which would put the club in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, would be huge for us.

“It’s something very exciting for supporters to look forward to.”