Any Premier League managers doubting the value of domestic cup competitions should look no further than Saints.

You could argue that the EFL Cup kept Claude Puel in a job last season.

He often seemed beleaguered and lacking in support from the fans, even some of the squad at times, and yet, no matter whether league form was drifting and style of play was criticised, a Cup run came to his rescue.

If you are outside of the Champions League contenders then it really does mean a lot, and there was no way Saints would axe a manager mid-season who was guiding then to Wembley.

It didn’t quite prove enough to save him in the summer, but it might have done.

This season it’s Mauricio Pellegrino whose tenure is being boosted by the FA Cup.

Saints haven’t made a quarter-final in the competition since they were relegated in 2004/05, though probably best to whisper that parallel, along with the fact they drew a Manchester club in the last eight who they also faced at home on the final day.

In a season where Pellegrino and his team have struggled desperately to win matches, with only five in 27 attempts in the Premier League, the FA Cup seems a salvation.

Three victories in the competition since the start of the year are not to be sniffed at if you are struggling to win any kind of match.

Wins breed confidence and belief, regardless of competition.

And in terms of job security, every step nearer to Wembley is another reason for you to remain in the hotseat.

Given the timing of the latest win to book a last eight spot, surely it is time to stop talking about Pellegrino’s future for a few months.

No doubt the topic will be revisited in the summer, but with league games remaining about to tick into single figures, and the Cup on the books as well, he has got to be here for the rest of the season.

Pellegrino’s team are improving too. They are showing greater intent, and though they aren’t playing at full gas still, they do look like they are increasingly understanding what they are about.

The Saints boss must only wish he could play West Brom every week.

Three of their eight wins this season have been against the Baggies. Six points and an FA Cup quarter-final spot is a fine yield.

Wesley Hoedt got Saints off to a great start with a goal after just 11 minutes.

It was a good finish but embarrassingly easy for the big centre half.

James Ward-Prowse hit an outswinging right footed corner into the middle and there was Hoedt arriving totally unmarked to side foot home a neat volley into the bottom corner.

The remainder of the half was a bit of a non-event.

Saints were comfortably the better side, working the play well and controlling the midfield battle.

West Brom looked like a team who are getting cut adrift at the bottom of the table, and their much more direct approach to play Jay Rodriguez into the channels and turning the Saints backline or going straight to Salomon Rondon was easily defended.

Their chances really were only half chances as Craig Dawson stretched for a header and put it over and James McClean hit a shot from distance just wide.

For Saints, despite their relative comfort, there wasn’t too much doing in the final third either with just one fairly routine clearance as Foster was almost beaten.

The second period was more even.

Alex McCarthy had to make a few good saves in quick succession as the pressure increased on Saints and it seemed like it become a very difficult afternoon all of a sudden.

The good thing for Saints in the context of their season might just be that coming up they play so many of the teams around them away from home, where their natural counter attacking game seems well suited.

It was proof in point as they relieved the pressure with a goal on the break on 56 minutes.

Guido Carrillo did well to recover the ball and hook it over to Dusan Tadic.

The Serbian brought it under control and then produced a sublime lofted finish over Foster.

It seemed as if Saints had weathered the storm and done enough – but just a couple of minutes later their lead was back to one again.

A direct ball picked out Rondon whose stunning first time volley rocketed in at the near post, giving McCarthy no chance.

Saints did well to see the game out as West Brom, with nothing to lose and surprisingly loud home support given the state they are in, bottom of the table and after their Spanish taxi indecent, predictably threw the ball forward at every opportunity.

They did worry Saints with nine minutes remaining as Ahmed Hegazi’s duffed acrobatic free kick looped up and hit the crossbar.

The rebound found its way to Rondon whose shot fired straight down into the turf and skipped up towards the opposite top corner, only for Ryan Bertrand to get it away off the line.

But far from a tense ending Saints played out time professionally. Indeed, they almost scored themselves, Josh Sims with a blistering break down the right leaving Jonny Evans in his wake and squaring to Ward-Prowse, whose shot beat Foster but was blocked by the covering Gareth McAuley.

The magic of the cup continues to deliver for Saints managers.