Richard Beale’s young Baggies will be looking to extend their unbeaten away league run to six matches when they travel to Nottingham Forest on Monday night (ko 7pm).
Albion, who have recorded back-to-back victories on the road in the Premier League 2 Division 2, take on Forest at Notts County’s Meadow Lane stadium.
Beale’s side suffered a 2-1 reverse at home to Southampton in their most recent match on the same night Carlos Corberan’s men lost at Watford in the Sky Bet Championship.
But despite that disappointing result against the Saints, the club’s youngsters are still right in the play-off mix.
The main focus though, as always at U21 level, remains on development and Beale is keen to witness his players display key characteristics which will help push them towards senior football.
He said: “With development football we’re always looking to get players on a constant upward trajectory. It’s important for us to get back them in the right mindset, but sometimes development can come to a standstill.
“Players can fall out of love with the game and it makes it hard to develop. The good thing at this age for them, though, is those examples are few and far between, we’re always making strides forward and we’re hopeful several of those can make that big step up to the first team in the future.
“Everyone should look to the lads who’ve dipped their toe in the first team because they’ve been working really hard for a number of years to get there. For the likes of Jamie and Jovan, one or two games will not have been enough for them so they have to work hard every single day and they’ve been great around the U21s since coming back down.
“Even at our trip to Middlesbrough not long ago, they were the first two to clean up the changing room after the game and leave it how it was, and I leave a lot of emphasis on those things for the boys. It shows those boys are hungry, but more importantly, humble.
“Within development football, you see lots of players who can’t be reliable, or handle small disciplines and it’s our responsibility to give them the opportunity to make mistakes, and then we speak to them, educate them and if they take that on board, we feel they can transfer those things when they step onto the pitch.
“It’s what the manager here wants to know; can he trust them to defend, can he trust them from set plays, prepare well for matches and make the sacrifices required in order to play at, what is a really competitive level in the first team.
“I’m looking to see signs of those things in our game at Nottingham Forest on Monday. We’ve had a few good results away from home this year and we’ll be after another when we go there.
“They earned a comfortable victory over us at The Hawthorns earlier on in the campaign and we’re determined to deliver a much-improved display this time around.”