Dale Stephens is creeping up the list of Albion's multi-manager servants.

Bruno's playing retirement and move to the coaching staff leaves the midfielder in company with Lewis Dunk and Solly March.

They are both locals. Exclude Glenn Murray's first spell at the club and Lancastrian Stephens is unique among the 'outsiders', about to play under his fourth different manager (or head coach to give Graham Potter his proper title) since joining the club from Charlton in January 2014.

"It’s different," Stephens said. "I’ve played under quite a few managers, and it’s nice to see new ideas and how different managers work. I’ve had four in five and a half years here, but in that time we’ve generally had a lot of success, so I look back on it positively.

"I met him (Potter) in the summer off-season. He met a few of the players, and it’s been good to train with him and he’s a very good coach. He’s brought in new ideas to the club and it’s quite refreshing."

Stephens has been a mainstay for Albion since an ankle injury sidelined him for ten months in the early stages of his career at the Amex.

He made 84 appearances in the last two seasons in the Championship under Chris Hughton, 74 in the two survival seasons in the Premier League in 38 rather than 46-game campaigns.

The Argus: The target is to remain a regular under Potter. Stephens (above centre) said: "I’ve been used to that for five and a half years other than the few months I was out with injury, but the aim is to play as many minutes as possible, particularly at the highest level I can. It's no different coming into the season now."

What lies in store for Stephens under Potter is one of the more intriguing aspects of the change at the top.

He was primarily a defensive midfielder for Hughton, shielding the back four, keeping it simple.

It is not an eye-catching job description and Stephens has been appreciated more by his team-mates than supporters. He has been accused of slowing the game down too much and looking sideways or backwards.

Often that is because he has lacked options in front of him. The cross field pass which set up Anthony Knockaert's winger at Crystal Palace showed what he is capable of.

Will his role alter under Potter? "Possibly," Stephens said. "I’m not sure he’d be that tuned in to how we play yet, because we’ve only been back for two weeks so I’m sure he’s still working on his players, systems and formations.

"Whatever job I’m required to do, I’ll do it to the best of my ability."

Once Albion launch their season under Potter at Watford next month, the way they finished the last under Hughton needs to be a blip, not a downward spiral that sustains.

What went wrong? "That's the million dollar question," Stephens said. "I don’t think it’s anything specific, we didn’t well enough in the games we needed points from.

"The sticky patch that we had with the Bournemouth, Burnley and Cardiff home matches, they're the home games that you’ve got to win. That’s what derailed our season.

"It's always been the case to keep your home form as good as possible, and it was probably better in the first year. The aim was to improve away from home.

"The points return hasn’t improved, but our performances have against the top six away from home and it’s finding a medium between the two.

"Even the home games against the teams that are in and around you are not easy. There are no easy games in this division and every three points are difficult to get."

Cardiff, Fulham and Huddersfield have been replaced by Norwich, Sheffield United and Aston Villa.

"There’s a lot of quality coming up and their ambitions will be as ours was two years ago," said Stephens. "To try and do as well as possible, get as many points as early as possible and build from there. It’s no different to any other club coming up, they will still be difficult."

Stephens has contributed 15 goals in 188 appearances in all competitions for Albion. Only one of those has been in the Premier League, at West Ham last season.

The Argus: He said: "It's something I’ve been good at throughout my career, but it depends on the system and what the manager wants from me individually.

"I’ve said that it doesn’t matter about me scoring or getting a shot, so as long as I can contribute in any way I can, then I’m happy to do so."

Stephens does not crave match winning attention, he is happy to stay below the radar.

"Very happy," he said. "We work within a group of players from the manager and I prefer to stick to a professional relationship with the players and the management staff, and it goes no further than that.

"I know what they want from me, and they know what they get from me, and that's what I’m concentrating on."