ALAN Pardew says '"nothing's over until it's over" and remained upbeat on Albion's survival chances as they prepare to face Huddersfield Town at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
The Baggies boss admitted that the basement battle with the Terriers was one of crucial importance but refused to label it as a 'must-win' encounter for his team.
"For us, the word 'must-win' is bit of an irritant," he laughed. "We know how important the game is. Nothing's over until it's over. 'The Fat Lady' isn't in the room yet.
"Huddersfield are a side I know fairly well because I've watched them two or three times this season. I'm familiar with how they play and what they do.
"They're not going to make it easy for us, we're not going to be able to roll them over and win comfortably. It'll be a tight, ferocious affair because it's every bit as important to them as it is us."
Three points on Saturday could lift Albion to within four points of Premier League survival. And it's all about closing the gap according to the gaffer.
"We can't afford the gap to be any bigger," said Alan. "The guys around us have had a decent run and have shared the points around. That's probably a worry.
"We need - for it to work out well for us - four, five or maybe six to fall away a bit. The middle pack are all together and then there's us. We've not been able to cling on.
"Although some of the performances have been very good since I've been here, we haven't been able to get the points to close that gap."
Have his troops got what it takes to claw their way out of trouble? Alan's convinced of it.
"I'm convinced we've got the quality. We've still got some big players missing and hopefully they'll return; Chadli, Morrison and Sturridge in particular.
"Gibbs is available this week. The rest of the squad is all available, including Jake Livermore. We still have options but our immediate concern is to put this week behind us and get ourselves a win."