Albion have lots of contracts to sort out by the summer and Adam El-Abd must be at the top of the list.

El-Abd demonstrated his adaptability once more against Crewe at Withdean last Saturday.

The 23-year-old from Brighton made a smooth transition back into midfield, where he was used at times last season.

El-Abd, better-known as a defender, has played at centre-half, right-back and left-back this season.

He has made more appearances during the current campaign than any other outfield player in the squad, an indication of how much manager Dean Wilkins values his wholehearted commitment to the cause. El-Abd went beyond an appearance-related clause, assuring him of a new contract offer, a year ago.

Hopefully it will not be too much longer before the Seagulls show their appreciation by securing his future.

Meanwhile, spare a thought for Paul Reid, whose horrible luck with injuries led to El-Abd's latest shift of position.

The Australian, another of the players out of contract in the summer, missed practically the whole of last season with cruciate ligament damage.

Now, just as he was working his way back into the team, he is out until March with medial ligament damage to the other knee.

It can be a cruel game.