Gary Hart could receive the Christmas present he really wants by securing a place in the Albion team.

Santa Mark McGhee is ready to restore Hart to his starting line-up for the Boxing Day showdown against Gillingham at Withdean (1pm).

Hart is expected to make his first full appearance of the season in place of the suspended Leon Knight for the crucial clash with the side three places and four points below Albion towards the foot of the Championship.

McGhee was busy making phone calls yesterday in a bid to sign a second striker on loan to join Mark McCammon from Millwall.

In the absence of another new face, Hart has been earmarked to form a three-pronged attack with McCammon and Adam Virgo, a system which worked well when Knight featured in last Friday's cruel 1-0 home defeat by Stoke.

McGhee revealed today: "If we play Gary, we will play the same way. We will be looking for him to join in with the other two and work hard.

"He has been enthusiastic in training and, up until a recent suspension, he was not far away from getting into the team.

"Hopefully if he is given his chance he will take it."

Hart used to operate as an orthodox striker for Albion before he was converted into a right winger.

A regular in each of his previous six seasons with the club, he has been restricted to a handful of substitute appearances in the Championship, the last of them in the home defeat by Burnley last month.

Hart has not started a game for Albion since the play-off final against Bristol City at Cardiff in May.