West Bromwich Albion’s second consecutive home win will put pressure on their relegation rivals, manager Tony Mowbray believes.
Goals from Roman Bednar and Craig Beattie saw off Tottenham Hotspur just seven days after Manchester City were put to the sword at The Hawthorns and those victories have given Albion a real chance of beating the drop.
They are still bottom, but only on goal difference with Blackburn Rovers, and are just five points behind Bolton Wanderers, who are 11th.
And with many of the sides in the bottom half of the table still to visit The Hawthorns in the second half of the season, Mowbray is confident they can repeat the Great Escape of 2005.
“It closes it up a little bit and I think there are a few teams now looking over their shoulder and realising they are pretty close to dropping into the bottom three,” he said.
“We’ve got to be a side that tries to get out of the bottom three over the next few weeks or months.
“I think you understand when you’re in our predicament that if you lose a game along the way the gap is back to five points and then you need to win another two.
“You’ve just got to keep going and hope we can string a really good sequence together of three or four wins on the bounce that might catapult us like Wigan, who only a few weeks ago were in the bottom three and are now seventh or eighth.
“Are we capable of doing it? Possibly. When I look at the fixtures I think there are games there we can win and we’ve got to sneak one away from home somewhere and follow it up with a victory at home, and start climbing the table.”
Albion’s home form has been good but has not yielded the points return Mowbray would have hoped for.
However, the Albion boss knows how his side fair on home soil will ultimately decide their fate and he has urged the supporters to turn The Hawthorns into a fortress.
“I can talk about the Everton and Villa games here early in the season when we could have won quite easily, yet we lost,” he said.
“At this moment we’ve won two tight games instead of losing two tight games and in the second half of the season we need to make sure we continue to win the tight games. Particularly the ones at home against the teams that may be around us – like Middlesbrough, Stoke, Wigan, Bolton, Sunderland and Newcastle.
“With the help of the supporters we’ve got to make it an uncomfortable day for them.
“If you’ve got no belief you’ve got no chance and I think the players have never stopped believing we’ve got the qualities to get enough points to stay in this league.
“When those days come along let’s hope we’re talking about three points and not a hard-luck story that we should have taken this chance or this didn’t go our way.
“You need the game to go your way a little bit and maybe today it went our way.
“We lost 11 games in the Championship last season and we were better than all the teams.
“Sometimes the opposition players might be better than you but it doesn’t mean they’re going to win the game.
“You’ve got to compete and get up against them to make life difficult for them. Hopefully things will go your way and they did against Spurs, against maybe better players.”