There is no doubt that ultimately a lack of proven Premiership experience and quality has cost West Bromwich Albion their Premier League status.

Apart from goalkeeper Scott Carson, left-back Paul Robinson, midfielder James Morrison and captain Jonathan Greening, none of Tony Mowbray’s squad had played in the top flight before.

Without the money to bring in such players and pay them Premier League wages, a fight for survival was always on the cards and Mowbray has placed all his hope in developing young players.

While fellow promoted sides Stoke City and Hull City have been able to recruit seasoned professionals, Albion have gone down the road of blooding inexperienced players, throwing them in at the deep end to see if the can sink or swim.

Some have certainly sank but others, like winger Chris Brunt, have shown they are Premier League players and as the season drifts towards an unsatisfactory conclusion, the emergence of players like Brunt, Jonas Olsson and Robert Koren has given Mowbray plenty of encouragement.

“I think part of my job is improving players, it’s my role,” Mowbray said.

“My job is to coach the team but also to coach the players and I say to them ‘my job is to make you a better player’.

“Since the day I started at Hibernian I have felt that was my job. I always tried to give those young players an infrastructure and a base that would help them as footballers.

“I try to give them the tools to play at any level and I take a lot of pleasure from that, not because I take responsibility but because I touched the lives of some footballers who have moved on to bigger and better things, whether they are playing for the Old Firm or in English football.

“At this club I would like to think I will look back in four or five years’ time and hopefully see some of these players at a level above where they are playing now.

“That is meant with total respect to this club, but I am talking about clubs who compete at the top end of the Premier League week in, week out.”

Northern Ireland international Brunt has really come to the fore in recent weeks and has been Albion’s most potent attacking weapon.