Tommy Elphick is after a hat-trick of clean sheets - with a little help from the Albion fans.

Last Saturday's goalless draw at Swansea, followed by Tuesday's 2-0 win at rock-bottom Bournemouth, gave the Seagulls successive shut-outs for the first time since the end of March, when they drew at home to Huddersfield and won at Northampton.

Now Elphick wants three in a row against Bristol Rovers at Withdean on Saturday.

Dean Wilkins's side have not managed that since prevailing at Chesterfield and fighting out 0-0 home draws back-to-back with Port Vale and Rotherham in January and February.

Centre half Elphick, 20 last month, said: "Before the game that is what we always say to each other, it is all about keeping clean sheets.

"There is no better feeling really, especially when you are 1-0 up and defending for your lives.

"We are quite a tight knit group. Every defender at the club - we are always together every day and always pulling each other through.

"In the last two games we have kept a great shape. At Swansea especially they were always trying to thread balls in between us but we were very compact.

"The clean sheets are not just a reward for the back five. The midfield all the way through to the front players have been helping out immensely.

"Everyone thinks immediately of the back five when you get a clean sheet but it has been the whole side. Revs (Alex Revell), Fozzy (Nicky Forster) and Bas (Bas Savage) have been working their socks off for us.

"We felt comfortable in the last 20 minutes on Tuesday. The aim now is a hat-trick of clean sheets."

Elphick believes the Withdean faithful can play their part following the backing the players received from Albion's travelling army at Bournemouth.

"We've taken four points in the last two games away from home and the fans on Tuesday night were really unbelievable," he said.

"We had a sticky patch in the last 15 or 20 minutes of the first half against Bournemouth but the lift I felt personally was remarkable.

"It just helps you dig in that little bit more and get that block in. It keeps you switched on."

Elphick has been digging in to good effect alongside the vastly experienced Guy Butters since breaking into the side in the Carling Cup at Cardiff.

He was studying the match briefing given to every player on the strengths and weaknesses of Albion's opponents last night and has an extra incentive to ensure the homework pays off.

Older brother and former Albion team-mate Gary had an unsuccessful trial with Rovers last season.

"He didn't get taken on," said Tommy. "I think it was money reasons more than anything.

"They won the play-offs last season and I watched them on the telly. I know Walker, their striker, is a very good player.

"He has been around and I understand they play a typical big man, small man partnership."

Although Gary was turned down, James Fraser, younger brother of Albion midfielder Tommy, is now playing for Rovers' reserves.

Fraser's presence in Albion's second string at the moment is, according to Elphick, a good indication that the tenth-placed Seagulls have enough back-up to mount a promotion challenge.

"There is no reason why we can't," Elphick said. "It's a very difficult division. You can tell that by just looking at the table, everyone is so close.

"It's very muddled. We will have a better idea by Christmas time but there is nothing stopping this group.

"Even if you look at the reserve side we are putting out now - players like Adam El-Abd and Tommy Fraser -there is so much depth."

Can Albion keep another clean sheet and beat Rovers on Saturday?