West Bromwich Albion caretaker manager Nigel Pearson has deflected the growing spotlight being cast upon him by refusing to publicly admit whether he is interested in the managerial vacancy at The Hawthorns.

Bryan Robson's former No 2 has had a happy start to what he initially expected to be a temporary spell in charge, his side having scored nine goals in three games after the ten-man team's 4-2 win over Leeds United on Saturday.

But, given the pressure on anyone who attempts to fill the hot seat at The Hawthorns in the wake of Robson's dismissal when his side were in the Championship's top ten, Pearson may be reluctant to step up to high office.

Asked whether he would like to see the post filled during the next fortnight of inactivity caused by the international break, Pearson said: "Ask me again at the end of it.

"I've kept my feelings on the situation very close to my chest and I will continue to do that.

"It's not something I'm prepared to discuss. I haven't applied for the job and that's really all I'm prepared to say."

But, having taken his side above Wolverhampton Wanderers into the top six, Pearson said that he had bought much-criticised chairman Jeremy Peace some time. "It's given us a bit of breathing space to take stock of the situation," he said. "It's good to go into a break feeling upbeat.

"Although we've got a number of players going away on international duty, it also gives us an opportunity to get people fit.

"I'm not sure about Steve Watson and Ronnie Wallwork, who we lost in training on Friday, Neil Clement has had only one reserve game and hopefully he'll be back by the end of October while Thomas Gaardsoe is still rehab-bing in Denmark and it's always a difficult time when you have the possibility of having to make a career decision.

"But we may have Nathan Ellington back for our next game and Nigel Quashie will still be reporting for Scotland, as he missed out on only this game by a couple of days."

Of particular concern will be the centre-half spot, following Paul McShane's sending-off on Saturday, and with captain Curtis Davies, Clement and Gaardsoe out. Pearson hinted that Davies had the best chance of being ready to fill the three-game gap left by McShane's moment of madness, saying: "He's very close."