Albion's stand-in skipper Dean Hammond admitted today it is up to the team to win back the fans.

Saturday's morale-restoring success at high-flying Scunthorpe, coupled with free admission for under-16s accompanied by an adult, is unlikely to save the Seagulls from their worst ever Withdean crowd tonight.

Club insiders fear the attendance for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie against Boston United might be around only half the record low of 2,407 for Millwall's visit in the same competition seven years ago.

Albion were beaten 3-0 by Blackpool in their last home outing, leaving them with only four wins in 18 matches at Withdean this year.

Hammond said: "It was a poor performance against Blackpool and it's down to us to put some performances in and get wins to get the crowd back.

"The fans on Saturday were fantastic and they are always fantastic at home.

They were right to boo us off after Blackpool, because we were very disappointing.

It's up to us as a squad to get the fans back on our side."

Hammond leads the team out again tonight in the absence of Richard Carpenter with a groin injury.

The 23-year-old midfielder from Hastings captained Albion in the matches against Bournemouth, Orient, Southend and Carlisle, which Carpenter missed through suspension and sickness.

Hammond said: "It was an honour to be captain before, it was an honour to be captain on Saturday and as long as I am given the job I'll take it while Chippy and Charlie (Oatway) are out.

"They have been great captains for the club and obviously when Chippy comes back he will take the armband back again but while I've got it I'll just keep doing the job asked of me."

The job asked of Albion against opponents with only Macclesfield below them in the Football League is to avoid the kind of upset they pulled off themselves at Scunthorpe, although the players did not quite see it that way.

"Outsiders may not have done but as a team and a squad we expected to win on Saturday, because we know we are good enough," Hammond said.

"This is no different. It's a chance for Boston to knock out a higher team but we will be trying to stop that from happening."

Boston proved stubborn opponents at Withdean in the only two previous clashes between the clubs.

Albion needed a 74th-minute goal from Paul Reid to knock them out of the Carling Cup in August.

They have also met before in the knockout competition for lower league clubs three years ago when it was sponsored by LDV Vans.

The Seagulls needed extra-time then, which cannot happen tonight since a penalty shoot-out comes into operation after 90 minutes.

Hammond said: "I expect we will take a few penalties in training today but we are looking to win in the 90 minutes. They played slightly defensively against us in the Carling Cup but they were a good unit, so it will be another hard game.

"We will treat it like any other game. It's a long way away but the final is supposed to be at Wembley.

"Everyone would want to play in that, so we will take it very professionally and go for the win. Once you get one win you want to get another and start a little run going."

Another innovation introduced by the competition's new sponsors this season requires clubs to include in their line-up a majority of the 11 players that have appeared most often in first team games this season.

Assistant manager Dean White said: "The ironic thing is some of our experienced players haven't played enough games, such as Guy Butters and Adam Hinshelwood.

"But we should be able to get six players out there that have played the number of games required."

White confirmed that goalkeeper Wayne Henderson will not be rested, so Michel Kuipers has to settle for a place on the bench again against the club he served on loan twice last season.

As well as the free ticket offer for juniors, adult prices have been slashed tonight to £10 in the south stand and £12 in the north stand, the only sides of the ground which will be open.