Tony Mowbray admits the growing stench of relegation surrounding West Brom is largely down to his inexperienced defence.
The Baggies have been rock bottom of the Premier League for the majority of the season, although the top team from last season's Championship have managed to remain in touching distance of their relegation rivals.
However, the gap between Albion and the teams around them is growing and with seven points the difference going into the away fixture against West Ham on Monday night, boss Mowbray knows it's now or never for the Midlands outfit.
According to the Baggies manager a desperate lack of experience at the back is costing his side dear.
A serious injury list in the Hawthorns rear-guard has meant Mowbray has had to regularly field 22-year-old trio Leon Barnett, Ryan Donk and Gianni Zuiverloon.
And the West Brom manager has conceded England's top flight may be a height too great for his young defenders.
"The learning curve is huge when your doing it in the Premier League every week," Mowbray said of his inexperienced players in The Daily Star Sunday.
"These players can smell we are not in control of our understanding of the game. It's very difficult for my players to learn. Maybe it's too steep a curve.
"My players are desperate to learn. They are young and I can try to teach them - but this is not the place to do it."
In light of recent comments made by the only experienced regular in Albion's back-four this season, Paul Robinson, Mowbray agrees that his side need to bring a tougher approach to games.
He added: "We have to be in people's faces a bit more."