Gus Poyet has hailed Wayne Bridge as still one of the best left-backs in England.

The 32-year-old former Chelsea defender has been outstanding since joining Albion on loan from Manchester City for the season.

Seagulls chief Poyet said: “I am very happy that he is playing for us and not in the Manchester derby.

“He is a Premiership player and he has been in two of the top four teams. We are very lucky, so if we can play him and keep him fit it’s a bonus for us.

“He is quality and that’s why he has been where he has been. When I was at Spurs we were looking for a left-back and we couldn’t find one. The top three in England were Ashley Cole, Wayne Bridge and Nicky Shorey.

“(Leighton) Baines went to another level and he has been impressive. I think Wayne should be there with them. Somehow we have got him, which is great, so let’s make sure he performs for us and enjoys playing football for us.”

Bridge, missing for the last four matches with a calf injury, and Adam El-Abd (hamstring) are on course to ease the defensive shortage at Charlton tomorrow after taking part in yesterday’s training session at The Amex.