ALBION boss Chris Hughton believes a return to the scoresheet for Pascal Gross could be the prelude to an influential climax to the season.

The German No.10 scored his first goal in seven games to clinch the 3-1 home win against West Ham.

It followed his sixth assist of the season for Glenn Murray’s opener and a wonder strike from Jose Izquierdo.

Hughton told The Argus: “I think that will be big for him. With Pascal there is always that balance. We know the type of player he is, he is not going to sprint past players but has a lovely ability on the ball and he gives the team so much.

“And we are still the type of team that needs a work ethic from the team first which will allow us to show the sort of quality that we showed.”

Gross’s sweet strike from just outside the area increased his season’s tally to five.

Colombian winger Izquierdo has now scored three times and the pair were both on target in the home draw in November with Saturday’s hosts Stoke.

Hughton said: “Pascal and Jose are both capable of that. They are players that can score goals.

“Pascal with the finishing ability he has got arguably should score more goals and in the position he is playing a little bit higher up, you can see the type of player he is.

“Always that type of player can be a bit hit and miss – that is the nature of that position – but he is a player capable of getting goals.”

Albion head to Stoke boosted by four points against Southampton and West Ham in a sequence against other sides involved in the relegation fight which also includes a visit from Swansea at the end of the month.

Hughton said: “I’m delighted. They’re big games for obvious reasons, because of the teams that we’re playing against and points that they’ve got.”