Tony Pulis has warned West Brom’s Chinese owners not to get complacent about avoiding the drop next season.
The eighth-placed Baggies are on course for a mid-table Premier League finish in their first season under new owner Guochuan Lai.
But Baggies boss Pulis wants a big cheque book this summer to guard against potential relegation next term.
A 1-0 home loss to Liverpool means Albion are in danger of finishing the season with a whimper after just one win in seven.
Pulis responded: “The important thing is not Liverpool and that top six, the important thing is being in front of the game, always, with the teams below.
“It’s that group of 12 or 13 teams.
“You play every season to finish outside the bottom three of the 13.
“As soon as you start taking your eye off the ball and start thinking something else is going to happen then it can turn around and hurt you. Bigger clubs than West Brom have been relegated.
“We need to be getting better every year and improving the squad.
“We might not finish in a position where you want but we want to get to cup finals and maybe, one day, finish in that position so we can play in Europe. Doing that takes time.
“You’re always going to get criticised by a small group of supporters, you have to manage that, but the majority of people understand what we’re trying to do and where we’re trying to get this football club.”