GARETH McAuley has warned his team-mates league positions will count for nothing in Saturday's Barclays Premier League derby with Villa at The Hawthorns (ko 5.30pm).
The Baggies are currently riding high in seventh spot after 22 games going into the weekend while their West Midlands neighbours occupy 18th place.
But both sides have recorded ten points from their last ten top-flight fixtures, and McAuley says Steve Clarke’s outfit must be fully prepared for a difficult challenge from the Villains.
“Looking in from the outside, it looks like they are in transition,” he said.
“They've brought a lot of young players in and it looks like they are trying to build a team for the future.
“They've got good young players there.
“It's a little inconsistent from them because they've had good games and ones that are not so good.
“But we are expecting a tough game.
“There is not a lot between a lot of the teams in this division.
“A lot of the games are tight.
“You saw our game against Reading, we were leading 2-0, cruising, and then bang.
“This league is unpredictable.
“On the pitch, you could not see that coming.
“We were gutted but we can use those feelings to get ourselves motivated for the derby.
“You could say we were unlucky but we need to begin making our own luck and we will just keep working hard and hopefully it turns around for us again.
“There were times at the start of the season when we were getting the bit of luck but now we are not and we can't let our heads go down.
“We've just got to keep battling, believing in each other and what we've got, and hopefully things will turn around, starting Saturday.”