West Brom manager Tony Pulis refused to make excuses for Saturday’s loss at Newcastle, but felt the absence of “the club’s best player this season” Jonny Evans was significant.
The Baggies put in a poor display at St James’ Park and were beaten 1-0 with Aleksander Mitrovic netting the winner.
Pulis admitted he could not afford to think his club is safe with just six points separating them from the drop zone.
He went into the game without the injured Evans, Chris Brunt and James Morrison, while Saido Berahino, the subject of a failed £21million bid from the Magpies last weekend, was used only as a half-time substitute.
Pulis said: “We have got good lads here. The other thing you have got to realise is without Jonny Evans – Jonny Evans has been our best player this year by a country mile – without Jonny’s calming influence…
“We haven’t got Brunty, we haven’t got James Morrison, Saido has missed half a season, so we have got things going on at the football club.
“You don’t want to make excuses, especially today, but you hope that they get back as quickly as they possibly can. It makes us stronger.”