West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Mowbray refuses to be fazed by growing speculation about the future of Zoltan Gera.

The Hungary international midfielder has been short of his best form this season and, but Mowbray insisted: "Zolly will still be here in January unless somebody picks up the phone and inquires about him and we accept a bid.

"Until that day, we just keep going and he's got to perform and give his best every time.

"It's the same with any player. If he's picked, he has to go out there and perform. If he doesn't perform, he won't play, it's as simple as that. He tells me there's a bid here and there, but it's all speculation and I've lived with speculation for the last two years when I was at Hibs.

"There must have been speculation about every one of my players and none of them ever moved. There are agents dropping a line here or there to a mate in the media to fill an extra couple of column inches but that doesn't affect me as a manager.

"It might affect the player but my job is to keep him going. Nobody's made any inquiries, so let's just get on with it."

Gera has had his ups and downs in Albion colours since Gary Megson brought him to this country in the summer of 2004. But he has not scored for two months and all his three goals this season have come away from home, meaning that he has not netted at The Hawthorns since April 2005, when he hit the only goal of the game against Everton.

"In games this year, Zolly has been disappointed with himself," said his midfield team-mate Darren Carter. "But he's a matchwinner and there could be a lot more to come from him as a player.

"When he's in the team we are always a threat, especially from set plays. There's speculation about what's going to happen in January, but you just have to get on with it. Knowing Zolly like I do, he's just a lad who likes playing football. There's no airs and graces about him, on the training pitch or on a Saturday."

Mowbray, who inherited Gera when he took over two months ago, also knows that he can expect more. "The first day I saw him at Ipswich Town, he was very good," said Mowbray, "but he has been a bit up and down. He's missed a few games and, sometimes, players coming back from injury can take time to get back into their stride.

"He will know better than I do the heights he can reach, as would anyone who watched him in his first season here.

"I've no problems with Zolly as an individual. It's great to have him around the dressing room. He's not a sulky boy. He's a great character who makes a lot of players happy and has them laughing."

Given Wigan Athletic's interest in the summer and Mowbray's need to sell before he can buy, Gera is one of Albion's more marketable assets — especially with just over 18 months left on his contract. But the Baggies boss points out that contract negotiations are not something that generally enter the public domain.

"That's something which needs to be kept in house, something that we'll do in our own time," said Mowbray. "Who knows?" he joked. "That speculation could all end tomorrow when he signs a new 57-year contract!"