For all their craft and guile, West Bromwich Albion know they will have to "front up" to the more physical and ugly aspects of Coca-Cola Championship football if their promotion ambitions are to be realised.
Manager Tony Mowbray believes The Hawthorns has become the Old Trafford of the division, a place where teams come to out-fight his side, rather than out-play them.
He is not complaining about that unlike striker Roman Bednar, who had damning words to say about referee Steve Tanner's performance in the defeat by Hull City on Saturday. Instead, Mowbray wants to see his side converting a higher percentage of the chances they create.
Mowbray said: "Teams have been trying to stop us playing all season and they are coming here very disciplined and organised now. People see The Hawthorns as a place to come and campaign to be hard to break down.
"Earlier in the season, these teams were coming to play for points but now sides like Hull are seeing the play-off places and scrapping a bit harder. There's a little bit more bite and structure in visiting teams.
"That was easier to deal with at the start of the season because we were putting our chances away and we did not have to chase games. For whatever reason, we are not taking those opportunities just now."
It was the home side's profligacy in front of goal on Saturday that allowed their visitors to gain a foothold; they duly scrapped as though their lives depended on it.
It was an approach that could have been more strictly dealt with. One tackle on Zoltan Gera bordered on assault and the foul count was stacked heavily in the visitors' favour, which resulted in four Hull players being cautioned.
Mowbray added: "There is no point talking about referees because it is not for me to tell them how to do their jobs. I do not know what the foul count was on Saturday but being physical is part and parcel of the game.
"Their manager [Phil Brown] was saying that the game against us was their biggest of the season. Like when teams go to Old Trafford, it was almost a no-lose situation and that gives the players an extra fight and drive. We have got to front up, match that desire and come out on top. They were a physical team, first and foremost. It's clear that they do a lot of work on set-plays and were dangerous on the break. It is easy to get unlocked by teams like that. However, if we had taken our chances, we would not have had to leave the back door open."
Czech striker Bednar, who scored his 15th goal of the season, was not amused by Hull's tactics and felt the referee was culpable. It is not the bigger decisions that the in-form forward is concerned about; it is the smaller, more subtle and undetected fouls that affect Albion's rhythm and that he wants to see punished.
Bednar said: "The referee was unbelievable. We just don't feel that anything goes our way; so many small decisions are being missed. They should have had two players sent off.
"I am not against hard football but sometimes I felt like they were just playing me and not the ball. It's wrong. We try to play our football and we tried to win the game playing our style. That is all we can do but we were not helped by the referee."