West Bromwich Albion manager Roberto Di Matteo has refused to contemplate automatic promotion after the Baggies held off the determined challenge of Preston to move another step closer to an instant return to the Premier League.

Albion have a commanding eight point advantage over third-placed Nottingham Forest with just eight games remaining after winning their fourth successive game - and recording a sixth consecutive win at The Hawthorns.

But Di Matteo said: "Nothing has been achieved. Nothing has changed from last week.

"We have got another game coming up on Wednesday (against Coventry) and it is important that we do well again because the teams behind us keep picking up points as well.

"We are in a good position but as you know, you can lose it very quickly in football. It was important to get three points against Preston as we need to do well in our home games."

Albion made the perfect start against Preston when Ben Watson and Chris Brunt powered them into a 2-0 lead after just nine minutes.

Sean St Ledger handed Preston a lifeline six minutes later only for Graham Dorrans to restore Albion's two-goal advantage with a 30-yard free-kick.

Neil Mellor then fired Preston back into the game again two minutes before half-time but an equaliser proved to be beyond them.

While pleased with his side's goal threat, Di Matteo admits they need to tighten up at the back having conceded 42 goals so far this season.

He added: "I am disappointed with the two goals we conceded as they are mistakes we shouldn't be making.

"Defensively we need to do better, there is no question about that. But on the other hand we have had to change the back four quite often and that doesn't help. It is about finding a balance where you are solid but you don't lose too much going forward.

"I would like to keep more clean sheets and be more solid."

Di Matteo shrugged off the mixed reception strike Luke Moore got from some of the Albion fans when he replaced Ishmael Miller in the 72nd minute.

"It is a bit bizarre that you boo one of your own players," admitted Di Matteo. "But I would emphasise it is a minority."