A fortnight on and we're still no wiser about the identity of the next West Bromwich Albion manager.

What is clear, though, is that with West Brom just two points shy of second-placed Birmingham City in the higher reaches of the Coca-Cola Championship, the sacking of Bryan Robson was badly-timed.

When a chairman decides to get rid of his manager, there is normally a fall-back procedure.

They won't admit it, of course, but often a replacement has been sounded out discreetly or someone identified. That doesn't appear to be the case with West Brom.

The new man would surely have been in place by now if that were so. Instead they are thrashing around, picking up rejections as fast as Jason Koumas copped fines under Robson. Nigel Pearson has supervised two wins and a draw in his caretaker spell but shows no inclination to step into his good friend's shoes on a full-time basis.

Normally a voluble talker, Pearson has been very terse in his comments about his future at The Hawthorns, so much so that after the latest interrogation from the media, one long-serving reporter told him with unconcealed admiration, 'Well batted'.

Pearson wouldn't be tempted with any half-volleys outside the leg-stump and who can blame him? He observed how the chairman Jeremy Peace edged closer and closer into Robson's sphere of influence - even moving into an office at the training-ground - and will question whether his stated managerial ambitions would be compromised if the offer came from Peace.

The odds are that West Brom will see Pearson as guilty by association with Robson and he'll only hold the fort for a while longer.

I understand the interview panel will comprise the chairman, finance director Mark Jenkins and one of the non-executive directors, Jeff Farmer.

The role of Farmer is interesting. Formerly a distinguished tabloid football reporter and ITV Sport executive, he was instrumental in hiring Robson, with the support of Ron Atkinson, a firm supporter of the man who played for him with such distinction at both West Brom and Old Trafford.

If Jeff Farmer was plying his trade today in the tough old trade of sports reporting, he would doubtless find the requisite pithy phrase for West Brom's current plight. Maybe ' a complete dog's dinner' would suffice.