STEVE Clarke admits if you had offered him the chance of Albion being fifth in the Barclays Premier League table after 15 games he would have snapped your hands off.
That’s exactly where the Baggies sit with 26 points despite back-to-back defeats by Swansea and Stoke in the last four days.
And the Hawthorns boss is refusing to be downbeat, confident his squad will turn results back in their favour this month as they focus on hitting their primary target of 40 points.
“We always try to downplay wherever we’re going and whatever we’re doing,” said Clarke.
“We don’t get carried away when we’re winning every week and we don’t get too despondent when we lose a few games.
“That’s just the way we’re trying to work from inside.
“If people want to talk about us, and talk about us, we can’t help that.
“We can only do what we can do.
“If someone had offered us this position at the start of the season we’d be happy to be here - for sure.
“But we’re not happy because we want to do better, so we push ourselves professionally.
“Over the next few months we want to achieve the first target, which is 40 points.
“I’ve said from day one that is the initial target, then we’ll look to build on that.”
The Baggies suffered successive losses to Manchester City and Newcastle in October but responded with a club-record four consecutive Barclays Premier League wins.
And Clarke has reiterated the faith he has in his players.
“We lost two games earlier in the season and we bounced back with four wins," he added.
“I’m not saying we’re going to do that again but we’re certainly going to bounce back.
“We’re a good team in a good place.
“We’ve worked hard to be in a good place and to have a good points total.
“The lads have got nothing to be down about.
“They should be positive going into the rest of the month.
“Certainly their head coach is.
“I’m positive, I know I’ve got a good group of players.”