BOSS Chris Hughton admits Florin Andone’s ban has left Albion “light up front”.

The Romanian’s absence could prompt a re-think for Saturday’s FA Cup fifth round tie at home to Derby County (12.30).

Andone was retrospectively suspended by the FA for three matches for elbowing Sam Field in last week’s fourth round replay win in extra-time at West Brom.

His ban began against Burnley on Saturday, continues against Derby and ends with the trip to Leicester on February 26.

Hughton told The Argus: “It is a concern and a big disappointment. If I’m looking where we are at the moment, we have used (Jurgen) Locadia more so on the left hand side in a 4-3-3.

“Locadia can play number nine – but probably in the way we are playing it leaves us light up front. So yes, it’s a disappointment and a blow.”

Hughton has to decide whether to risk top scorer Glenn Murray from the start against Derby or switch Locadia to the middle and exploit other wide options.

Anthony Knockaert, Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Viktor Gyokeres will all come into contention for starting places.

Solly March picked up an ankle injury against Burnley and Jose Izquierdo has been out since December with a recurrence of knee trouble, although the Colombian is now back in training.

Hughton revealed: “He has trained the last couple of days so it’s just a question of building him up.”

The Argus understands fresh reports linking Albion with a post-transfer window move for Bolton’s teenage midfielder Luca Connell are wide of the mark.

Connell, 17, is in the final six months of a second-year scholar contract so could be sold outside the window, although he would not be able to play until next season.

Albion were not prepared to pay cash-strapped Wanderers’ asking price last month.