Albion boss Hope Powell has been forced to stay away from training ahead of one of the toughest tests of the season.

But the Seagulls still believe they can cause a shock at home to WSL high-flyers Chelsea.

Powell gave an initial positive result when testing for Covid yesterday.

A follow-up test was planned.

Assistant Amy Merricks has taken charge at training and that could continue for the match on Sunday (2pm).

She expects to be well-supported, whatever happens.

Merricks said: “I won’t be on my own! I will have the backroom staff.

“And I’m sure if that is the case Hope would be on the earpiece - but we are not at that stage yet.”

Albion have suffered six successive defeats across the competitions.

But Merricks is keen to build on good parts of last week’s 1-0 defeat by Leicester.

She was also pleased with the first half against Manchester City in the game before that.

Merricks said: “Now it’s finding that consistency over the 90 minutes.

“We really need to be a little bit braver on the ball at certain moments and a little bit cuter with our final pass to retain possession and progress up the pitch.

“It’s about looking forward.

“We need to learn our lesson quickly, continue to do the basics, continue to be hard to beat and build on the positives we have seen over the last few weeks.”

Merricks has been pleased with the reaction of players this week after criticism by Powell of their performance at Leicester and does not believe the boss’s absence will hinder preparation.

She added: “We follow the same preparation.

“We are always both on the pitch delivering, anyway.

“We are going through the same processes, same style of play, delivering the same messages and the players are really positive.”