ALAN Pardew believes Albion’s “12th man” can play a crucial role in helping steer the Club away from the danger zone.
His side face Brighton and Hove Albion at The Hawthorns on Saturday knowing victory could push them up to within a single point of teams sitting just outside the bottom three.
The boss has been impressed with the level of support since arriving at the end of November, paying specific reference to the atmosphere during the previous home game when Albion fought back to draw 1-1 with Arsenal.
And Pardew is adamant that a buoyant Baggies crowd can have a heavy influence on fortunes on the pitch.
He said: “We’ve had some tough games at home since I’ve been here.
“This is a game where maybe our fans would come expecting to win.
“In the circumstances we really need them.
“If the fans are anything like how they were for the Arsenal game, I’ll settle for that.
“If we are going to get out of this we are going to need our 12th man.”
The Seagulls head to the West Midlands on the back of an Emirates FA Cup victory over local rivals Crystal Palace and Pardew is wary of the threats they will pose.
“They have some good talent and are strong in wide areas, Brighton.
“Glenn Murray is a striker I know very, very well and he’s scoring goals on a regular basis.
“They had the lift of promotion, but it’s now an important period for them.
“I don’t need to tell Chris Hughton that.
“He’s an experienced manager and his teams are always very organised.”