Albion PL2 boss Richard Beale is pushing his youngsters to start their games in hand with a positive result when they return to league action against Leeds on Monday night (ko 7pm).
The young Baggies fell out of the Premier League Cup following a late defeat to Middlesbrough in their last outing, but remain in the hunt for a high finish in the Premier League 2 Division 2 table.
Their first chance to close in on the top three comes at York City’s LNER Community Stadium on Monday, and Beale is confident of seeing the right reaction from his team against the Whites.
He said: “Every single day this job throws up challenges, but the basics never change.
“The start of the new year is a really good month for us. We’ve got Leeds twice now and then Villa so there’s some really good tests and it’s up to us to show what we can do.
“It’s exciting and we’re looking to embrace those games and be at our best in all of them.
“Leeds will have a lot of players to pick from. They’re technically strong, physical, tactically they like to mix it up so it’s going to be a good challenge.
"If we win our three league games, we can be top of the league where Leeds are and that’s the challenge for the boys. It’s never the number one priority to be top, but it goes hand-in-hand with our development.
“Don’t get me wrong when I say results are never the be all and end all because they are integral to becoming a professional football player along with having that fight and scrap and desire.
“We didn’t lose our last game through anything other than a lack of concentration. We also missed a number of chances and probably deserved to win and our forwards misfired on that occasion, but we give them a lot of grace because they’ve scored a lot of goals this year.
“Every single time we’ve had a setback, the boys have responded with a high performance level and that’s what we’ll be hoping for against Leeds.”