Peter Odemwingie believes manager Steve Clarke deserves credit for West Brom's improvement this season and does not feel their current top-five Premier League spot is a fluke.
Albion climbed four places after Odemwingie's brace earned a 2-0 win over bottom placed Southampton at the Hawthorns on Monday night.
It enabled them to bounce back from the heartbreak of successive injury-time defeats to champions Manchester City and Newcastle.
Odemwingie credits Clarke, who replaced England head coach Roy Hodgson in the summer, for bringing about an improvement in the performance of the players after two mid-table finishes.
The Nigerian international said: "We were saying in the dressing room after the Southampton game that even one point from the previous two games, when we lost so late on, would have put us fourth.
"The expectations from our fans are high and after losing against the champions (Manchester City), being so disappointed as a team for us means we are getting better and the ambition is there.
"It is a big plus for us so it's a challenge and the better the results we get, the more confidence grows.
"We are showing a very good quality of football as well so that is where the expectations are coming from because we've been getting results against very good sides."
Odemwingie, Albion's top scorer for the past two campaigns, can see an improvement in the quality of the players and has hailed Clarke's impact.
He said: "We are improving as players individually which is very important. I can see that.
"It is so obvious many players have improved and the manager deserves a lot of credit for that.
"His goal this season was to increase the number of passes we make and that makes you enjoy the game more and brings more excitement.
"We create so many chances and those things are also very encouraging."
Odemwingie knows West Brom face a tough task to maintain their current lofty status but feels it is not an insurmountable challenge.
He said: "We need to consider also there is a bit of instability (up and down results) amongst the other teams under the top four so that is the hope.
"The weekend results helped us to bridge the gap that was there (in the table) and if we keep playing like this, and the rest of the teams outside the top four are still unstable......you never know.
"We will be surprised to finish in the top six or seven but I don't think we will say it is a mistake if we keep playing like we have for the past two months."