John Piercy and three more of Albion's out-of-contract squad players have been given three months to force their way into the First Division plans of manager Mark McGhee.

Piercy, David Lee, Dean Hammond and Dan Beck have from July to October to prove they have a future with the Seagulls.

The challenge to the quartet follows the launch yesterday of ongoing talks between McGhee and chairman Dick Knight over the shape of the squad for next season.

Piercy, brought on in the closing stages of Sunday's triumph in the final of the Division Two play-offs against Bristol City, must, like the others, convince the manager he is worth keeping.

"I've told them the reason they are not going now is that I think they have all got something we could use, but at the moment what they have got is no use to me," McGhee said.

"Dan and Dean are young lads who have got to now push themselves. John and David are both more mature players who at this stage should be banging my door to be in the team and they are not doing that well enough.

"Something has got to change or they are going to be on their way. I have to have players I can trust to put in and not lose too much quality."

Midfielder Geoff Pitcher, third goal keeper Stuart Jones and youngster Mark Windsor have all been released, but Dean Blackwell and Simon Rodger are being retained to prove their fitness within agreed time periods following long-term knee injuries.

Guy Butters, Nathan Jones, Adam Virgo, Chris Iwelumo and Paul Reid are all expected to stay and McGhee has also revealed plans to add four new signings to his promoted squad.

He hopes the addition of a centre forward, centre half, left or right winger and left-footed central midfielder will enable the Seagulls to do more than just stay up next season.

"I am quite excited about one or two things we might be able to do," he said. "We could end up with a squad which, with the young players that are emerging, could do a bit better than going in there simply to survive."

McGhee expects to have "something left" for transfer fees. How much will partly depend on proposed renegotiations with some of the 11 players who still have a year left on their contracts, a list headed by Danny Cullip and Leon Knight.

"We are still looking at the financial implications of going up, the money from the League and possible increased revenues, so the figures are not really precise at the moment but we have a rough idea," McGhee added.

Meanwhile, McGhee has branded the FA's three-match ban for goalscorer Knight from the start of next season as "scandalous and comical".

The suspension follows a charge of violent behaviour for Knight's involvement in a flare-up at the end of the defeat away to his former club Sheffield Wednesday in March.