In American politics, it is called the "Big Mo". At The Hawthorns, it is just plain "momentum". Whatever one wants to call it, there are signs that it is working in West Bromwich Albion's favour.

The 1-0 victory against Everton on Sunday was significant in that, for the first time, Albion looked every inch a team worthy of at least another season in the Premiership.

There have been victories before - most notably against Charlton Athletic last month - but this one was against a team fighting to qualify for the Uefa Champions League. If you can defeat Everton, you deserve to be taken seriously.

The Premiership table shows that Albion are still in the bottom three but they have caught up with Southampton and have Portsmouth, Blackburn Rovers and Fulham in their sights.

The fight to avoid relegation is now wide open.

And that is exactly how Kevin Campbell would have planned it. The striker singlehandedly ensured that Everton avoided relegation in 1999 and he sees stark similarities between their plight then and Albion's now.

It is, he says, all about that great word: momentum.

"There is a momentum now in our favour and that is important," Campbell said. "The match against Everton was a big one for both teams and a massive one for us to win. They went for it but it shows, with our team spirit and tenacity, that we can pick up results like this.

"In previous times, we would have lost that game.

No doubt about it. But it shows how things have changed for us. It is encouraging.

"I think the hunger we are showing at the moment is going to hold us in good stead for the final seven matches of the season.

"But we need some more wins. We have got a massive game coming up next week against Aston Villa, which is obviously a Midlands derby. If we can get three points there, which we believe we can, that would set us up for the remaining six games.

"There are similarities between what we are going through here with West Bromwich Albion now and what I went through with Everton in 1999. The key similarity is that word again: momentum.

"When I went to Everton at the time, we lost our first two matches. But then when we started to win, it lifted everybody. It makes such a difference. The players are the same but the confidence levels are different. That helps.

"Suddenly you have a different attitude. Your tacking is better, your passing is better, you are more confidence. It is almost as if you have become a different player.

"That is what is happening at West Brom. If we can keep up this level of performance, we can get out of this situation and remain in the Premiership. But it will be tough. We know that. But the way the lads are performing, we have got a good chance."

Three months ago, before Campbell arrived from Everton, there appeared to be no chance. Albion had lost 4-0 to Birmingham City and 5-0 to Liverpool and seemed certain for relegation. There were too many average players and not enough confidence.

It needed some luck, which came when they drew 1-1 away to Manchester City, and some self-analysis. Since the turn of the year, the improvement has gone from encouraging to dramatic.

"I am not surprised with how good the players here are," Campbell said. "I knew, even when I joined, that this was a good team and a good club. Maybe sometimes there are intangibles that people cannot see but which affect the team.

"But things have changed quickly. Bryan Robson has come in as manager, I have come in, Kieran Richardson has come in, Richard Chaplow has come in, and now it is a happier place.

"Training is good, we enjoy our work, and maybe these were the things that were needed here. But there was always the makings of a good team here. I knew that from the first day."

Now 35, Campbell is coming towards the twilight of his career but, to look at him, you would not know it. He remains as inspirational as he did when he helped Arsenal to win the League Championship in 1991.

"I am still battling," Campbell said. "I know what it takes. I have been down this road before. I feel fit, I feel strong. There was a hell of a battle between the West Brom strikers [Campbell and Geoff Horsfield] and the Everton centre-backs [David Weir and Alan Stubbs].

"It was a heavyweight battle. We gave as good as we got and and thankfully we were victors at the end of the day."