Albion are being bugged by an illness scare ahead of Saturday's opener at Oldham.

Kerry Mayo was the latest victim of a bug which threatens to disrupt Steve Coppell's team selection at Boundary Park.

The long-serving defender missed Monday's 3-2 friendly victory against Leicester at Withdean, although he played for an Albion XI at Lewes last night.

Coppell said: "Kerry was sick. We've had a kind of a bug which is not of plague proportions but has been hitting individual players randomly.

"Chris McPhee had it last Friday at Yeovil. Malcolm Stuart (physio) tells me this happened last year as well just before the season started, so we are doing our best to contain it."

Captain Danny Cullip was sidelined from the Seagulls' opening day win last season at Oldham's Lancastrian neighbours Burnley.

Cullip, raring to go on Saturday after recovering from a thigh injury, said: "I was gutted to miss the first game last year when a virus went around the camp.

"On the Friday before we flew up I couldn't stop being ill. I listened to the game on the radio in-between going to the toilet!"

Adam Hinshelwood, Cullip's replacement at Burnley a year ago, is among the skipper's potential partners in the centre of defence for the Oldham match.

Coppell was pleased with the way Hinshelwood, Dan Harding and Chris McPhee performed against Leicester, although he said: "Pre-season games mean more to youngsters than established players.

"Once you have done several pre-seasons they become a bit mundane but if you are 18 or 19 with a point to prove then they are cup finals.

"If I could depend on Chris McPhee playing like that every week then he has got every chance of being a good centre forward but inevitably youngsters are inconsistent.

"I've certainly got to get one striker in, just to supplement what we have got. I've got a very committed group of players and, personality wise, I wouldn't swap them.

"They are a unique blend and they really work hard for each other, but if we are going to make an impact I really do feel we need just a little bit more subtlety and extra punch somewhere."

Coppell, chairman Dick Knight and chief executive Martin Perry answer questions from fans at a forum in the Sprinters Bar at Hove greyhound stadium tonight (7pm). Doors open at 6pm and admission is free.

Former Albion goalkeeper Dave Beasant is set to become Fulham newgoalkeeping coach.

With Fulham's second-choice goalkeeper Maik Taylor expected to complete his loan switch to Birmingham this week, and third-choice Martin Herrera loaned to Argentinian side Estudiantes de La Plata, Beasant would also act as cover for No. 1 Edwin van der Sar.