Rangers found themselves facing a two goal deficit in less than half an hour at the Hawthorns, and although Adel Taarabt netted a spectacular individual effort and Esteban Granero scored a late consolation, the team's defensive vulnerability allowed West Brom to claim a 3-2 win.

Hughes was asked after the match if he was confident he could lead the team to safety, and the combative manager insisted: "Absolutely."

He remained upbeat in his assessment of the defeat, but acknowledged supporters' concerns.

"We could have got an equaliser late on, but our concerns would still have been there. We aren't doing the fundamentals well enough," he said.

"We knew where we might possibly be at the beginning of season because of the number of changes we made.

"We are disappointed because we have deserved more in matches this season, although not so much today. In a number of matches this season we have shown we have quality.

"We have come a long way in a short pace of time. We had a difficult time last season but we stayed in the Premier League. We have had injuries which haven’t helped, but we need to improve results."

For his part, West Brom coach Steve Clarke remained grounded following the win that saw his team climb to fourth in the table, claiming they still had a lot of improvement left in them.

"We created a lot of chances, but took longer to see the game out than we would've liked," Clarke said.

"I thought we were a little sloppy defensively which isn’t like us. Conceding the second goal made us nervous."

Asked if he expected this strong start, West Brom's best in 100 years, Clarke replied: "Why not? I knew I was coming into a good group of players.

"They were comfortable in the Premier League. I'm not over surprised. I'm delighted, but not overly-surprised. I knew we would be competitive.

"We don’t get carried away. We approach each game one at a time. We don't get ahead of ourselves. We know our primary objective. Having another season in the Premier League is our objective and that has to be for most teams in Premier League."