Albion's disciplinary crackdown is helping boss Micky Adams stick with a small squad.

Bobby Zamora collected the Seagulls' third red card at Scunthorpe last Saturday.

That is only one fewer than at the same stage last season, but the nature of the offences has changed.

Biting, stamping and spitting is rather different, for example, to the dismissals of Zamora and Charlie Oatway for second bookings.

The most dramatic improvement has been in the caution count.

By Christmas last season several players had been banned or were on the brink for accumulating five yellow cards.

The only player under threat at the moment is Oatway and he is displaying great constraint.

The tigerish midfielder has made seven appearances without a booking since his fourth caution against Hartlepool back on October 18.

Andy Crosby, Albion's first red card victim this season, was recalled for last week's LDV Vans Trophy tie against Cardiff as Adams switched to a back five. That match also marked the senior debut of youth team midfielder Dean Hammond and former Watford teenager Lee Johnson, who is being lined up for a short-term contract.

Adams said: "I am happy with what I have got. Let's not forget we have Freeman and Thomas to add to last Saturday's squad.

"I can juggle around. We are not set on playing 4-3-3. I can go to three centre halves or 4-4-2 and there are some decent kids coming through as well. I don't want to restrict them."

Adams has plenty of scope in the loan market to keep Albion's promotion challenge bubbling if suspensions become an issue in the New Year and emergency replacements are required.