Albion manager Mark McGhee has told his players not to be ashamed of relegation.

McGhee insists they can hold their heads up, despite yesterday's 2-0 home defeat by fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday sending them down from the Championship with Crewe and Millwall.

"I'm very disappointed that we have gone down," McGhee said. "However, I've said to the boys there's no shame in it. They can hold their heads up.

"Since the day I got here they have given blood, from the play-offs and getting up against the odds and then a massive effort last year just to hang on in the division.

"They have given everything this year, regardless of the fact that we have fallen short."

A Gary Hart own goal early on, fashioned by Wednesday forwards Deon Burton and Worthing-born Marcus Tudgay, and Burton O'Brien's second-half solo effort condemned Albion to the drop with two games to go and ensured safety for the visitors. McGhee admitted: "I felt as if we went out with a whimper really but I think that was a result of the massive effort at the weekend (at Ipswich) and that really caught up with us.

"We have not been able to give the players enough help by bringing others in.

"The first thing Paul Sturrock (Wednesday manager) said to me was We got lucky, I got Burton and Tudgay'. We weren't able to do anything like that.

"We persevered with what we had and we've been caught short. The boys have done their best. It's ended up not quite being good enough."

Dean Hammond, sent off in the closing stages for a second bookable offence, is now suspended for the remaining matches at Wolves on Saturday and at home to Stoke on Sunday week.

"For Dean's season to end in such a fashion is ridiculous, because he has been fantastic," McGhee said.

"He has improved so much. He is the type of player we have not been able to give enough help to.

"Gifton Noel-Williams has come here on loan and made a fantastic effort for us but we needed him three months ago."

McGhee also cited Withdean as a factor, branding Albion's temporary home as a "dump".

"Let's not make any bones about it, it's a dump we have to play in," he said. "It's not difficult to go to somewhere like Ipswich and play, with 23,000 people causing an atmosphere.

"The fans were fantastic yesterday, they kept the pressure off the team.

"At no point until the final whistle, when obviously there was disappointment and a few boos, did they put any pressure on the team and we can't ask for any more than that.

"What they are not able to do is produce an atmosphere that is positive, that really pushes and drives the team on the way that Hillsborough with 30,000 people or Ipswich with 23,000 can help you."