Albion boss Sami Hyypia has hailed the quality of Gary Gardner as he ponders over a starting role for the Aston Villa loanee against Charlton.
Hyypia is considering whether to give full debuts to latest recruits Gardner and former Bristol City striker Sam Baldock as the Seagulls aim to complete a hat-trick of Championship victories at the Amex tomorrow.
Gardner, 22, made his debut in midfield as a second-half substitute in Tuesday’s extra-time victory at Swindon Town in the Capital One Cup after completing his loan switch until January 1 just hours earlier.
Hyypia told The Argus: “I think he is going to bring his quality.
“You saw that he is a good player, that he has experience of the Premier League and I think he gives us a good option in the midfield position.
“I wanted to put him straight in to get minutes. I know how difficult it is to come into the team when you hardly know anybody but he did well.”
Charlton’s visit is a revenge mission for Gardner. He was on loan to Sheffield Wednesday when they were beaten by the South Londoners 2-1 at Hillsborough in February in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Baldock’s match sharpness is not an issue, having led Bristol City in all five of their matches this season, the latest last Saturday’s 1-1 draw in League One at Rochdale.
Kazenga LuaLua is a doubt after hurting his right ankle in a tackle by former Albion development squad defender Raphael Branco.
A picture of the incident in The Argus yesterday showed Branco catching LuaLua well above the ankle with the studs of his right boot and with the ball two feet away.
Hyypia has stayed tight-lipped about referee Andrew Madley and his assistants after Albion were not even awarded a free-kick. The Finn said: “I don’t have anything to say about the officials.”