Steve Sidwell believes he can still play a big part in Albion's bid for Premier League safety - without kicking a ball.

The top flight veteran has offered his services to manager Chris Hughton as an adviser in and around the squad.

A double injury blow has prevented Sidwell, 35, from adding with the Seagulls to 200 appearances in the top flight for five clubs.

An ankle fracture sustained in the closing stages of his recovery from back surgery prompted the midfielder's omission from Albion's revised 25-man squad following the January transfer window.

Sidwell told The Argus: "In terms of being around the lads I have still got a massive part to play.

"I said that to the gaffer the other day. We had a meeting and I just said 'If you need me for anything, speaking to anyone, being around the place, coming to away games, then I'm here'.

"I can't play my part on the pitch, but I'll do as much as I can off it."

Sidwell watched Saturday's win against West Ham at the Amex with Albion legend and former Fulham team-mate Bobby Zamora.

He is still on crutches after an ankle op arising from a freak training ground accident as he fought to return from a prolapsed disc in his back.

He said: "When it rains it pours. It's not great but it is what it is. Whether it's a blessing in disguise for the back to heal more I don't know.

"I feel fine, it was in the final stages of rehab, then this happens. It was a freak accident. I probably would have been training the week after.

"It was just a freak fall. I fell over, my body weight went over on that side and that was it.

"I knew straight away. I had surgery. It's pretty routine, a plate, six screws.

"It took a couple of days to get used to it, but I am mentally tough. I've been like that throughout my career.

"I am no different now. I'll get through this. I said to the gaffer the other day I'll be back."

The Argus: Sidwell rejoined Albion from Saturday's opponents Stoke (above) two years ago, initially on loan and then permanently.

He had a free-scoring spell with them at Withdean in the Championship on loan from Arsenal in the early days of a distinguished career in which he has played for Stoke, Fulham, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Reading in the Premier League.

Mark Hughes was his manager at Fulham and Stoke. The Welshman steered Stoke to a hat-trick of ninth-placed finishes after succeeding Tony Pulis but they dropped to 13th last season and he was sacked last month, within hours of an embarrassing FA Cup exit at Albion's fifth round visitors Coventry in the FA Cup and with the Potters in the relegation zone after a poor run of results.

Sidwell is surprised by Stoke's decline, although he could to some extent see it coming.

"You could probably see it going that way with ins and outs, recruitment and players they lost," he said. "I still keep in contact with a few of the lads there and they said you could see changes coming.

"Under Mark Hughes you still had the same manager, the same mentality, the same ethos.

"For some reason it just wasn't working out on the pitch. A change was made and, as always seems to happen, the team picks up."

Albion's key visit to the bet365 Stadium is the third home match in charge for Hughes' unexpected successor Paul Lambert.

The Scot, also predecessor at Norwich to Seagulls boss Chris Hughton, launched his reign with a 2-0 win against Huddersfield and 0-0 draw with Watford.

Stoke, with the worst defensive record in the division, slipped back into bad habits at in-form Bournemouth on Saturday and back into the bottom three by relinquishing a 1-0 lead and losing 2-1.

They were snubbed by Quique Sanchez Flores and Martin O'Neill before appointing Lambert, a move which surprised Sidwell (below) as much as everyone else.

The Argus: He said: "He (Lambert) has even come out and said he knows he wasn't first, fourth, fifth, tenth choice.

"He has got himself in the hotseat and if he does well who knows what will happen?

"The lads have responded. He has been well liked around the place. He's put a spring in their step.

"If we thought it was going to be tough without that happening, it's going to be even tougher now."

Albion's visit is being billed in the Potteries as Stoke's biggest game since they were promoted a decade ago.

Sidwell insists it is just as big for Albion. The morale-boosting victory over West Ham lifted them to 13th but if they lose Stoke will move level on points and he is wary of the Seagulls' tough finish to the campaign against five of the top six in the final ten matches.

Sidwell said: "We need to pick up points now really when you look at these next few games, otherwise it is going to be even harder.

"We need to realise that. Throughout the season we knew there were going to be dips and it would be a struggle for us.

"If we had been around this position all season it wouldn't have been any different. We went up to eighth and we could have been a bit of a victim of our own success.

"Now we are in it. There are a lot of other teams amongst it and we have got to give it our all."