SAM BALDOCK has been told he will emerge a better player after his ‘heartbreaking’ eight months.

The Albion forward has been welcomed back to the ranks by Glenn Murray after the pair teamed up in the closing minutes of Monday’s FA Cup win over Crystal Palace.

Baldock has spoken of the “heartbreak” of missing the Seagulls’ Premier League adventure so far due to ongoing calf problems.

But he was cheered on to pitch as an early substitute for the injured Izzy Brown against the Eagles and had chances to score.

Albion’s forwards are likely to face stiffer competition for places as the club bids to recruit this month with young Aston Villa striker Keinan Davis the latest player to emerge as being of interest.

But frontman Murray believes Baldock is well placed to make up for lost time.

Murray told The Argus: “Me and Sam linked up really well last year.

“We shared a good partnership.

“It was fruitful and he has had a tough time this year through injury and not being selected.

“It is difficult because you have these times in your career.

“He is going through a difficult period but he will come out the other side stronger.

“I know it is probably difficult to take for him now but, when he looks back on this little episode, he will be stronger for it.”