Albion boss Gus Poyet believes Liam Bridcutt and Wayne Bridge both deserve to be playing at the "highest level".

  He has warned it will be tough for the Seagulls to retain the services of Bridge next season and has hailed Bridcutt as the best defensive midfielder in the Championship.

  Bridge, on loan from Manchester City, was the sponsors' man-of-the-match as Albion knocked Newcastle out of the FA Cup for the second season running at The Amex.

  Bridcutt was named man-of-the-match by ITV in the Seagulls' convincing 2-0 victory against the depleted North-East giants in their televised third round tie.

  Bridge's cross set up Andrea Orlandi's superbly taken opener for Albion in the first half.

  Poyet said: "He is a Premiership player. We are more than lucky to have him here. So many things came together for us to have him. People are asking if he is going to stay here next year.

  "It's going to be difficult, very difficult, because first we cannot pay him and secondly it depends where we are, because he deserves to be playing at the highest level. We need to get everything together to be lucky."

  Bridcutt was outstanding again in front of the back four, leaving Poyet concerned there could be interest in the former Chelsea apprentice during the January transfer window.

  He said: "The best thing about Liam is that he understands to an incredible level what I want from him in a game. That makes us a better team.

  "If Liam tomorrow goes to Real Madrid I will take it, because he deserves to go to the highest level. I cannot stop those things happening. As a holding midfielder there is none better in the division.

  "That is why he is expensive. Now we are at the same level as the rest of the teams. Everybody is talking about plenty of millions, we do as well. We are not selling cheap anymore."