BOSS Chris Hughton has paid tribute to Steve Sidwell and Liam Rosenior after the experienced duo announced they are leaving Albion.

Neither of them played a part on the pitch in the Seagulls’ Premier League survival but Hughton has praised their influence behind the scenes.

First Sidwell, then Rosenior, took to social media yesterday afternoon to reveal they are being released on the expiry of their contracts next month.

Back and ankle operations prevented Sidwell, 35, making a contribution in midfield this season after 34 appearances in last season’s Championship promotion campaign.

Hughton told The Argus: “It has been difficult for him, missing the whole season through injury, but he has played a big part in our achievement to get to the Premier League and as a senior influence around the squad.

“First and foremost he gave us quality as a player. He has been involved in a lot of games in his career.

“He is also a brilliant professional who has been around big clubs in the Premier League and has brought a lot of know-how to the changing room.”

Sidwell had two spells with Albion 13 years apart. He joined on loan from Arsenal in 2002-03 during Steve Coppell’s reign and returned from Stoke, initially on loan, in January 2016 following 200 Premier League appearances for the Potters, Fulham, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Reading.

He scored the goal of the season from long range during Albion’s promotion and seven in total in 68 outings across his two stints, the last at Villa a year ago when they missed out on the title.

Sidwell said via Twitter: “The Brighton chapter has now officially closed.

“My only aim when I joined was to get the club in the Premier League for the first time in its history and I’m proud to say I played my part in achieving this.

“I’d like to thank Tony Bloom, the board, manager, staff and players for making my time here again very special and I will watch on with every hope you stay in the top flight.

“But most of all I want to thank you the FANS. All of this was for you and the dream lives on.

“I gave my all for the club and I’m sure you’ll agree I left everything out there every game. Thank you again.”

Rosenior, 33, moved to Albion on a free transfer from Hull in June 2015. Injuries, combined with increased competition for places, limited him to 51 appearances, the last in the FA Cup win at Middlesbrough in January.

Hughton said: “Liam has played a huge part in our achievements over these few seasons. Unfortunately, over that time, he’s had a couple of injuries that kept him out for periods but at this moment he is in good shape.

“His value has not only been on the pitch but also off the pitch. He has also made a small contribution to the success of the under-23s. Because he wants eventually to be a coach and a manager he’s had an involvement with them. That has been great for them and for us as a club.”

Rosenior has played in all four divisions during a 16-year career spanning almost 450 appearances for Albion, Hull, Ipswich, Reading, Torquay, Fulham and Bristol City.

He wrote on Twitter: “A sad day for me. I’ve played my last game for the wonderful @OfficialBHAFC.

“What a club. From the owner Tony Bloom to Dee the tea lady. Every SINGLE person there is special.

“Wonderful players, manager, staff, memories and FANS. It’s not goodbye. It’s see you soon.”

The only outstanding contract issues affecting the first team squad now are the futures of back-up goalkeepers Tim Krul and Niki Maenpaa.

The anticipated departure of midfielder Rohan Ince, who has been on loan to Bury, is likely to be confirmed by the club by next week.