Nigel Pearson will be hoping Curtis Davies' broken metatarsal heals in time to avert a potential defensive crisis ahead of their trip to Ipswich Town in 12 days' time.

The dismissal of Paul McShane against Leeds United will lead to an instant one-game ban, Neil Clement and Thomas Gaardsoe are still unavailable due to long-term injuries and Steve Watson has a persistent thigh problem.

Davies has been on the sidelines since sustaining a broken foot at Sunderland five weeks ago but his rehabilitation is nearing completion and there is a possibility he will link up with Chris Perry once again at Ipswich Town.

Pearson, who was interviewed for the vacant manager's job at Portman Road in the summer, enhanced his own credentials as a potential successor to Bryan Robson with some excellent tactical substitutions during the 4-2 victory over Leeds United.

Pearson, the caretaker manager, is still in the dark over his role at The Hawthorns with speculation rife. Alex McLeish, Tony Mowbray, Steve Cotterill and Steve Tilson are the latest names being touted as favourites to replace Robson.

Albion's board will meet on Thursday to discuss the managerial vacancy, with Pearson admitting that he hasn't applied for the job as yet.

It may be that a new manager is ensconced in The Hawthorns hot-seat by the time they travel to Suffolk on October 14 but, if not, Pearson will want to utilise the jewel in Albion's crown. "Curtis is very close and the sending-off gives us a problem for the next game," said Pearson.

"Neil Clement has taken part in one reserve-team game and hopefully, by the end of October, he should be quite close to selection."

With Ronnie Wallwork (calf) and Nathan Ellington (thigh) also on the sidelines, this enforced hiatus due to international fixtures has come at an opportune moment for Albion.

Nigel Quashie's ankle injury hasn't prevented him from linking up with Scotland for their Euro 2008 qualifiers against France and Ukraine and he is expected to be fit for selection.

"A number of players are away on international duty now and it gives us an opportunity to get players fit," continued Pearson.

"It's a good time to have a break and you need to enter it in an upbeat mood and winning speaks for itself."

The positive vibe that Pearson referred to has certainly enveloped Kevin Phillips.

After Robson's departure, the club has been in a state of transition but there were no signs of wallowing in self-pity against Leeds.

The 32-year-old snared his second goal of the campaign during their victory and admitted that the team's vibrant attacking performance was long overdue.

"We are one of the favourites to go back up and we haven't done ourselves justice," said Phillips.

"But on Saturday we showed, against a difficult team, that we're hopefully going to go all the way this season.

"We are going to be there or thereabouts, let's put it that way."