Micky Adams has applauded the teamwork which could help Albion emulate a club record against Hartlepool tonight.

The Seagulls go into the Withdean clash fresh from six straight clean sheets.

That is one short of the best shut-out sequence, achieved in the 1923-24 season.

An astonishing nine hours and 16 minutes has elapsed since Danny Hill's deft equaliser for Cardiff last month.

Adams believes such formidable mean-mindedness is not just down to new signing Matthew Wicks and his co-defenders.

"Everybody has a role to play when we haven't got the ball, including the forwards," Adams said.

"We are defending well as a team and that is the key.

"I have always prided myself on the way my teams defend.

"If you don't concede you will always get at least one chance in a game and providing you win it doesn't matter what the score is."

A repeat of last season's 1-0 home victory over Hartlepool would suit Adams nicely as Albion, unbeaten for nine matches and with 16 points from the last 18, approach a hectic spell.

They travel to leaders Chesterfield on Satur-day, then entertain Plymouth next Tuesday.

"Once you get to 12 games, as we have now, a pattern emerges," Adams said.

"That doesn't mean a team cannot climb from the lower reaches, but probably five of the current top ten will be there or thereabouts.

"This is a tricky period now for us. I would rather have played this match last night, with the game on Saturday at Chesterfield.

"We are going to have to monitor the players and give them as much rest as we can."

Midfielder Charlie Oatway has recovered from a persistent back problem, so Albion are expected to be unchanged.

A collection will be held at half-time on behalf of goalkeeper Jon Robert Collingwood. He was due to join Hartlepool when he was involved in a car crash.

The 16-year-old suffered a broken neck and spinal injuries which have left him paralysed.

Victory for Albion will take them second in the table.

They were pushed down to fifth last nigtht by Cheltenham, for whom Mark Yates and Hugh McAuley clinched a 2-1 win at Halifax, and Leyton Orient, who beat Shrewsbury with Wim Walschaerts and Steve Watts strikes.

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