Bernardo took a significant step towards his Premier League return last night.

The Brazilian left-back played a planned 45 minutes with no problems for Albion under-23s against West Ham.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh was on for the first three-quarters of the Premier League International Cup game against West Ham at Crawley, setting up his side’s goal in a 3-1 defeat.

There were full games for defender Leon Balogun and Tudor Baluta, on his return from international action with the Romania senior side.

Bernardo, back from a knee injury, looked at ease as he enjoyed his first minutes since the first team defeat at Manchester City almost three months ago.

Jahanbakhsh has also been short of action, either for his club or Iran, although he made the matchday 18 for last Saturday’s defeat by Leicester City. The same goes for Balogun, who has lost his place in the Nigeria squad while out of favour with the Seagulls.

Under-23s boss Simon Rusk said: “They were just planned minutes.

“The first team staff wanted to use the game for some minutes for them. It is always great to have the senior boys in and around the group.

“I thought in the first half there was some really positive stuff from the youngsters and the senior ones.

“Unfortunately in the end the result has gone against us but we can have no complaints.”

Steven Alzate is expected to return when Albion go to Liverpool on Saturday having been rested for the Leicester game. And Aaron Connolly could be back from a groin injury.