If West Bromwich Albion can keep hold of the players and team spirit that served them so well in the Coca-Cola Championship they will make an impression on the Premier League, says captain Jonathan Greening.

The 29-year-old midfielder has been full of praise for the way manager Tony Mowbray has instilled belief and empowered his squad in the past 18 months since arriving at the club.

Making Greening club captain at the start of this successful campaign - quite unexpectedly - proved one such masterstroke, and the skipper believes that by retaining the current batch of star names at The Hawthorns it will ensure a united Baggies off the pitch as well as on it.

At the top of the list are Kevin Phillips, Zoltan Gera and Roman Bednar.

Greening said: "It will be massive if we keep Phillips. He has scored so many goals for us this year but it's not just that, it's his aura around the place.

"He is one of the jokers and one of the lads who brings the team spirit together. And he is still as fit as a fiddle.  There is no fat on him whatsoever and he's still at the top of the running [statistics], so his age is not a concern.

"You only have to look at Teddy Sheringham. He played at West Ham until he was 38 or 39. Kevin is only 34 and has the experience that will definitely help us in the Premier League. He is one of those players like Teddy who drops in and holds the ball up.

"You need that in the Premier League and I'm sure the gaffer will be desperate to keep him.

"Hopefully the chairman will sort out a new deal with him sooner rather than later; then Kev can have a good summer and prepare for next year."

The stalling point on the deal with Phillips is thought to be about the length of the deal. That is not the case with Gera.

Had Albion failed in their bid to win promotion to the Premier League, the chances of keeping him looked slim but the odds are siding more favourably with the Baggies after Sunday's win against QPR at Loftus Road.

The Post revealed yesterday that Mowbray was keen to sit down with Gera and secure his services, for at least another season, as soon as possible.

The Hungarian might be swayed by how he is viewed by his team-mates.

Greening added: "It is the same with Zolly as it is with Kevin. He has been on fire for us as well and, fingers crossed, he will be staying as well. He has said that if we get in the Premier League he'd like to stay. All the boys want him to - we love him.

"He is one of the main characters in the dressing room so, hopefully, he can get it sorted."

One of the other main protagonists backstage at the Baggies is Roman Bednar, another player whose loan deal the club is looking to make permanent.

Mowbray sees his future as more clear-cut than Gera's and Phillips. He added: "Everyone here realises our intentions and I am not envisaging any problems. The deal with Roman will be done. "First and foremost, he has been a revelation for us since his opportunity arose.

"He got himself fit and started scoring lots of goals, then his profile increased - but the time to address a new set of terms is when the time is right for the club, not when players' advisors think the time is right.

"I always argue that when footballers playing well and scoring lots of goals their advisors are always knocking on my door telling me that they want a new deal but when they are not doing so well and haven't scored in ten games, they are not knocking on my door telling me the player would be happy to take a bit less.

"No one puts a gun to players' heads when they sign contracts. Roman will be looked after in accordance with our wage structure and how well he has done.

"I am very aware of the talents he has got but they will be taken care of as and when the time is right for that to happen, not when he scores a few goals."