Hyder Jawad reports on a vote of confidence in the boss from one Baggies favourite...
During those dark winter days, when West Bromwich Albion were being thrashed by Birmingham City and Liverpool, there were few people who thought that Bryan Robson would make a good England manager.
Fast-forward eight months and the picture could hardly be more contrasting. Suddenly, there is no mental image more appropriate than that of Robson wearing his England tracksuit, plotting the downfall of Brazil, Argentina and Germany in the World Cup.
For now, that image is fiction. Robson is the manager of Albion, proud of the fact and looking forward to the start of his first full season in charge at The Hawthorns.
But the perception remains that one day he will take over as the head coach of England. Just ask Kevin Campbell. The Albion striker, who played a significant role in ensuring that the team remained in the Premiership, has no doubts that Robson will eventually lead the nation's football team in World Cups and European Championships.
This is not a diplomatic response to a diplomatic question. Campbell genuinely believes that Robson, once the England captain, is of international quality as a manager and will one day be given the opportunity to prove it.
"I think in the years to come, Bryan Robson will become England manager," Campbell said. "He has definitely got all the right credentials.
"There was talk of it maybe being a bit of a nostalgia thing when Bryan Robson, as a former Albion player, came into the club but he got us playing, stuck to what he thought was best and kept the team up."
It helps if you were the best English player of your generation. Even now, nearly a decade after Robson retired as a player, players treat him with respect because of what he achieved with Manchester United and England.
Motivating millionaire players can be difficult these days, so it needs a man of Robson's calibre to go into a dressing room and create desire, hunger and inspiration.
"Motivating players is everything," Campbell said. "You hear people say 'players are now paid a lot of money, how do you motivate them?'
When Bryan Robson walks into the room, you are already motivated because you know he has been there, seen it, done it.
"He would have the instant respect in the England dressing room. The aura of Bryan Robson from his playing career alone means that people respect him but now he is getting a a bit more respect, which is rightly deserved, on the managerial side.
"You can only really tell someone when the chips are down. Bryan Robson kept all his dignity when he came here and was getting stick from the crowd.
"He had that focus and ambition and that is vital in a manager and it comes across to the players that way as well.
"If the manager is unsure, the players are going to be unsure but if the manager is driven and knows what he is going to do, that gives a bit more confidence to the players to go out and perform."
It helps if you are a stable individual. Robson is not given to emotional responses - he has never courted trouble - and has learnt the value of constructive criticism. It is rare to hear him chastise a player in public.
He sticks to what he knows best, uses appropriate players for appropriate styles of play and arouses respect for being good at his job.
" Bryan Robson is a rounded guy, but to see how he handles the tough times is important because in this game there are highs and lows," Campbell said.
"You've got to ride the storm but the way he rode the storm last season was so impressive, coming here and not winning for 12 games. The knives were out already and people were asking 'what is he doing?' But it just shows the character and the strength of the man that he came through it and in the end we got the right results." Long term, that could be Albion's problem. The better that Robson performs in his current role, the more chance there is of the Football Association deciding that he is the man to replace Sven-G^ran Eriksson as the England head coach.
"Everything is really magnified when it comes to England," Campbell said.
"In a sense, being in a relegation battle last season, the battle was magnified even more so because there were four teams who could go down on the last day. That pressure is what England would be like."