Mark Venus claims that Paul Robinson has been unfairly labelled a dirty player and says the Albion left-back is "good for the British game".
Venus, the Albion assistant manager, is concerned that Robinson is too often rebuked for tackles, he believes, are fair and appropriately committed.
Robinson aroused the ire of Mick McCarthy, the Wolverhampton Wanderers manager, for a tackle last Sunday on Michael Kightly when the teams met at Molineux. But Robinson won the free kick, a refereeing decision that Venus says was fair.
Robinson was also criticised by Steve Bruce, the Birmingham City manager, this season for a challenge that left Damien Johnson with a broken jaw in the fixture at St Andrew's last November.
Robinson was sent off when Albion played at home to Sunderland this month but, after an appeal by the player, the red card was rescinded.
And when Albion play at home to Birmingham on Sunday morning, much of the talk will be about Robinson and Johnson.
But first Albion must play Crystal Palace at The Hawthorns tonight, with Robinson encouraged by Venus to maintain his levels of commitment. "Paul Robinson was fouled before he made the tackle on Kightly," Venus said.
"I think Robinson went for the ball, with energy. I could put on some videos of a hundred tackles that have been missed. Referees interpret things their own way.
"With Paul, it wasn't a yellow-card offence. He actually won the free kick, which is what it should have been.
"He is a man who has a bit of history of making challenges. He is probably labelled a little bit. Some of them are not as bad as they appear. Maybe some are. But he is a competitive lad.
"In training, he competes the way he plays. If he does something wrong, he takes his punishment. If he doesn't do something wrong, and he is on the receiving end of a bad decision, he will appeal — as he did recently when he won the appeal.
"British people love players with a competitive edge. Paul gives everything he has got and that is all you can ask of anyone. He plays by the rules. He is a hard-working, honest man. If that tackle was not made by Paul, it would not have been mentioned.
"He is a damn good player. He has been good for us. And he is the best player in the league in that position. He is good for the British game."
It is 15 days since Albion were at the top of the Coca-Cola Championship table. Having lost 1-0 away to Wolves, they have slipped to fifth and need a victory tonight as much for confidence as for the points.
"All we can hope for is that we keep playing and keep believing," Venus said. "The luck evens itself out over a season.
"There is a disappointment in there. We should have come out of the Wolves game with something. We gave it our best shot and did a lot of things right on the day.
"But we are not angry. If you are angry, you can lose focus on the things you need to do. We are looking for a level of performance every week."
There is concern in some quarters about the state of the Albion pitch, which has done nothing recently to aid their attractive style of play, but that is the last thing on Venus's mind.
"We cannot make an excuse about the pitch," he said. "This is the same pitch on which we have won so many matches this season. They are the same fans who have cheered us on every home match, who have made the place intimidating for other teams.
"Chelsea's pitch is ripped up every year but they still keep on winning. Birmingham's pitch was relaid and they have not lost [in the league] since. I am not bothered about making excuses. Football is about winning. That is the bottom line."
John Hartson, who has not been involved in the past four games, has been ruled out because of a knee problem. Nathan Ellington will again be missing as he serves the third of a three-match suspension.
Hartson, however, still has a role to play with Albion this season.
"You can never write off a player of John's pedigree," Venus said. "He's had a career most people would die for. At this moment, he's got a knee injury and is unavailable."