For once on Saturday, I decided I wouldn’t be rushing down post-match to seek player interviews.

What was the point? What could they say after the 5-0 defeat to Bournemouth?

Not good enough? We’ll put it right? We go again?

What on earth could they come up with after Albion’s most humiliating afternoon for at least a decade?

Crewe. That was the last time the Seagulls were embarrassed like this, certainly on their own patch. Even then, it only ended up 4-0.

That afternoon in 2009 was probably the last time they looked every inch a team heading for relegation.

And those League One days, in the history of this progressive, upwardly mobile club, feel like a generation ago.

On Saturday, Albion and their fans arrived with thoughts of making a decisive move away from the drop zone.

Of harnessing the spirit shown a week earlier at Wembley.

But the only man who did them any good in that context was one of their former players - and one of Chris Hughton’s former players – in Chris Wood, with his goals for Burnley against Cardiff.

So what could anyone say of an afternoon which saw Bournemouth, yes Bournemouth, queuing up to score a sixth goal as their jubilant fans chorused “How s*** must you be?” to their hosts?

Don’t get me wrong. Albion have some eloquent players in their ranks – some of them in more than one language - and are excellent in terms of how they deal with us in the media.

They have great stories to tell and opinions to express when the time is right.

There are some sturdy figures in there who will come out and talk honestly, openly and at length on the most bleak afternoons, notably Shane Duffy, Dale Stephens, Mathew Ryan and Glenn Murray.

They would have done it again, no doubt. But why put them through it?

Why leave them in that situation of being accused of “talking a good game” when they were just trying to be helpful?

We all know what we saw. We all know how we felt.

Besides, there was a press conference today and a match tomorrow.

As it turned out, no Albion players were allowed to do press interviews anyway. It is the first time I can ever recall that happening.

Interviewing players after a bad result isn’t fun but it’s not something I’d ever shy away from.

In fact, I can even recall after one defeat (Crewe again, actually), Dean Wilkins ordering one of his players to be interviewed by me as a punishment.

Maddening as it would have been on most occasions not to be given access to the players, this time it felt like the right call (though hopefully they don’t make a habit of it!).

The answers have to come tomorrow when Cardiff visit.

So how on earth did we get to that state of affairs?

It’s easy to forget now that hopes were high going into the game.

Albion started quite well but lacked quality and direction in attack – and confidence, Chris Hughton rightly identified.

They allowed Bournemouth the freedom of their own penalty area for the first goal and there were a few boos at half-time.

The exodus from the stands was on once the third goal went in.

By that stage, of course, Anthony Knockaert had, himself, departed – for Saturday and the next three games.

From then, it was damage limitation as Bournemouth taunted them with their sharp passing and hunger for more goals.

Does the fact it came against the Cherries make it even more galling?

Possibly, because in many ways Albion have forged ahead of their South Coast rivals as a club during their rise through the divisions.

Albion do an awful lot right and that didn’t change on Saturday. Nor will it if they go down. Even on such a dreadful day, it was tempting to think they, as a club, look better set-up for the future.

But, on the pitch, Bournemouth remain the team the Seagulls would like to be.

With tough days, of course. But also massive highs, sometimes against the giants of the Prem.

They do it with a brand of sparkling football which Albion occasionally produced at times a year ago, when Jose Izquierdo and Pascal Gross were at their best, but haven’t for a long time now.

To be fair to them, a fair few Albion fans stayed to clap their team off in a show of support.

There were also applause for Sussex boy Steve Cook after his sterling efforts when he was not even expected to play.

So what happens tomorrow evening?

We all have our opinions of what can be done to secure a win which should be enough to keep Albion safe (although, remember, Cardiff have still to play Fulham).

It will be a night for experience, the right temperament, controlled desire and passion, defensive awareness, confidence on the ball, leadership.

Surely Glenn Murray starts. Solly March starts.

Pascal Gross should start. For me (much as I like Martin Montoya as a player and as, seemingly, quite a chirpy character), Bruno starts.

Forget winning the FA Cup at the same age as Stanley Matthews, as was spoken about in more cheerful times.

Helping keep Albion safe would be a perfect final hurrah (though, given how he is valued around the club, it still would not surprise me if he was offered another contract).

“It’s the Premier League, nobody said it would be easy,” I recall him coming out and telling us in a concourse at the Hawthorns on one of the darkest days of last season, a 2-0 defeat at West Brom.

Well, Bournemouth had it easy on Saturday. And it was very hard to watch.