Roberto De Zerbi wants his big guns ready for a three-way Spring-time assault.

The Albion head coach saw his side win 5-0 at Sheffield United with Kaoru Mitoma and Simon Adingra back in tandem.

He has set no specific timetable for Joao Pedro to return from a hamstring injury but says he wants him in peak condition in about three weeks’ time.

De Zerbi is thinking similarly with James Milner, who is currently sidelined, and Julio Enciso.

Whether any of them return before then remains to be seen.

That would leave Solly March and Jack Hinshelwood as the only absentees as the race for European places, the FA Cup and the Europa League all heat up.

De Zerbi said: “James is not available. I think he needs much time.

“But it is the same for Joao, for Julio.

“I think the crucial period for us has not started.

“In two or three weeks I would like to have all players – unfortunately not Solly or Jack.”