Albion boss Gus Poyet insists budget size is the reason his team is on the fringes of the Championship play-offs and not up with the leaders.

He was bursting with pride at the performance against Blackburn Rovers at The Amex last night, even though the Seagulls had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Poyet said: “I’m very proud. You would have to spend heavily at any level in any country to have those first 20 minutes of football.

“Tactically, technically, speed, position, chances, it was absolutely spectacular and that is through the work we have been doing in the last two or three years and, of course, with the understanding and belief of the players.

“That for me was enough, I wanted to finish the game after 20 minutes. The money was worth it already.”

Albion needed a second-half penalty from man-of-the-match Vicente to cancel out Scott Dann’s first-half header for Blackburn from a corner.

They are now four points off the play-offs after Middlesbrough beat Leeds 1-0 at home but Poyet said: “Maybe we are over-achieving when you are in the bottom half of the budget and play the way we play. Everybody likes Barcelona and Spain but we don’t play like them or copy them, because we don’t have those players.

“But we have a style for the rest of our lives, for as long as the chairman is alive, and it’s unique. The rest? I don’t care how they play.

“You give me the budget of Cardiff, Leicester or Blackburn Rovers and I’ll play this way and beat you week in week out. If not I will give you my money back at the end of the year.

“I promise you, I’d put my contract on it, because it’s not difficult, it’s about quality.”

Albion are waiting for the results of hospital tests on a suspected serious knee injury suffered by recalled striker Will Hoskins, who was stretchered off in the first half.