CHRIS HUGHTON has told Albion’s youngsters he wants them to make a first-team contribution – after rejigging his coaching team.

The Seagulls have named Paul Nevin as first-team coach and allowed Simon Rusk to concentrate on his work with the under-21s.

Nevin links up again with Hughton and Colin Calderwood, with whom he worked at Norwich City, while Rusk uses experience gained during half a season with the first team to help bring through players from the development squad.

Those emerging prospects are not likely to include defender Glen Rea, who is expected to join Luton this summer.

Rea would link up with Nathan Jones, whose move to Kenilworth Road in January left the vacancy filled temporarily by Rusk.

Hughton said: “Simon stepped up and did an excellent job.

“He is an exceptional young coach with a very bright future ahead and I’m delighted we have him in charge of our under-21 group. The importance of the under-21 group increases this season, with no option of emergency loans, and therefore it will be of huge benefit to have such a strong lead coach - but also one who has had that time with the first team group.”

Nevin, 46, has played in the US and coached and managed in New Zealand and the Middle East in a varied career.

He was a youth and reserve coach for eight seasons at Fulham and has worked for the Premier League.

Hughton said: “Paul is an excellent coach and a good appointment for the club. I’m delighted he is on board and looking forward to working with him again.”

Albion found the gap between under-21s and senior side too big to gap last term although Connor Goldson used a couple of development squad games to underline his readiness for the Championship.

Rea, seen as one of the club’s brighter prospects two years ago, has been told he can find a new club but Southend boss Phil Brown yesterday revealed he would probably not be returning to Roots Hall, where he has played on loan.

Brown said: “I’ve had a text from him before he went on holiday and I think he will go somewhere he feels he is more likely to play.

“I would have thought a player would have chosen to play at the highest level possible but Glen is entitled to do what he wants and I’m not completely closing the door on that one.”

Albion have been speculatively linked with Charlton central midfielder Jordan Cousins but The Argus understands they have not made a bid.

The Seagulls need at least one more player in that area to compete with Dale Stephens and Beram Kayal.

Cousins is keen to leave the Valley this summer and stay in the Championship while Charlton would be willing to offload one of their bigger earners.