Nigel Pearson believes the next batch of matches will provide West Brom with “the acid test” in their battle to stay in the Premiership.
The Baggies' new boss Bryan Robson and his assistant Pearson could not have had a more demanding baptism than games with Middlesbrough, Arsenal and Manchester United, which yielded a solitary point.
But now bottom-placed Albion face a run of games against Portsmouth, Charlton and Birmingham – sides all in the lower half of the table who present a more realistic chance of picking up some points.
Pearson said: “There have been a lot of positives since we have been here and the way the players have responded has been good.
“People possibly didn’t give us much of a chance of getting anything out of the first three games we’ve been at the club.
“But this is the acid test in front of us now. We are coming up against sides we would expect to pick up points against.
“That’s a true test of everyone and possibly we will find out more about the squad from these next few games.
“We were disappointed about the Manchester United game in terms of we gave the ball away too much and the goals they scored were preventable.
“But it is vitally important that everyone is upbeat and has confidence in their ability.”
Defender Darren Moore (knee) Cosmin Contra (groin), Darren Purse (knee) and Kanu (groin) are all battling to be fit for the trip to Fratton Park.