Adam El-Abd is facing a race against time to work on his new pairing at the heart of the Albion defence.

But boss Gus Poyet is confident his back line will be ready to face Hull City on Saturday.

El-Abd will not rejoin the Seagulls at training until tomorrow after playing for Egypt in Madrid last night.

He is expected to team up with recent loan signing Matthew Upson for the second time when Hull visit The Amex.

Ideally, Poyet would have loved his defenders to spend the week working together but he is also keen for his players to represent their countries.

He said: “I want Adam to play (for Egypt). We won’t get him back until Friday but if you are going to have good players you have to get used to that.

"It's not like we have had ten players away on international duty. We will be okay”

El-Abd enjoyed his first start for Egypt and played the first 70 minutes of the 2-1 defeat to Chile at the Estadio Vicente Calderon before being given a breather by boss Bob Bradley.

He is likely to be involved in a friendly against opponents to be decided on March 22.

An Egyptian FA source revealed El-Abd is close to securing the necessary paperwork to make him eligible for the World Cup qualifier versus Zimbabwe in Alexandria on March 26.

Bradley said: “We don’t get to a see a lot of Adam so I played him from the start to see how he did.”

Poyet could have a defensive decision to make when Albion go to Cardiff City a week next Tuesday.

He expects skipper Gordon Greer, currently ruled out by a hamstring injury, to be available to take on the leaders.

Albion host Blackburn next Tuesday and then have a free weekend due to the FA Cup fifth round.

Asked about Greer’s return, Poyet said: “Next Tuesday? I’m not sure. He will be close.

“The following Tuesday? For sure.”

Young defender Vitalijs Maksimenko came off the bench for Latvia as they lost 3-0 to Japan in Kobe yesterday.

Maksimenko recently joined Albion’s development squad.