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Knockaert: Familiar Opposition Will Benefit Us

By Alex Stedman • 28 April 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Anthony Knockaert believes that today’s game with Burnley at Turf Moor is a contest between two similar and evenly matched sides.

The Frenchman pointed to the respective teams having similar styles - having met one another frequently in the Championship, and the Albion man says the side is aware of the threat posed by this weekend’s opponents.

He said, “It’s always a tough place to go and they’re a similar side to us. We know them well after playing them several times recently, and we know we’ve got enough quality to get a result. 

“They’re doing very well but we know that we need to be on the front foot and get something from the game – it will be a battle so hopefully we can come back with a win. 

“They’re the sort of opponents who suit us in my opinion because we’re familiar with them – so it’s up to us and how much we want to win the game, and if we do our jobs, I think we have a good opportunity to do that.” 

Knockaert recently returned to the side following a three-match suspension, and the Frenchman feels he has learned plenty from the experience.

“It’s good to be back and it’s important to play games – I tried to stay fit and trained hard for when I came back, and I was ready when the team needed me.

“I don’t think negatively about it because the way to deal with it is to treat it positively and treat it as a lesson. I need to learn and grow from it going forward and I hope it won’t happen again. 

“I’m an emotional character and it’s been one of my strengths – it’s the way I am and that won’t change. I can always try to get better with the way I handle it and that’s what I’m doing over time.”

With Albion closing in on achieving their main goal of Premier League survival, the midfielder was keen to point out how the side could use this season during the next campaign, highlighting the benefits they could take from their first year in the division. 

“If we can be in the league next season then we can use this campaign as a great learning experience – we will have more games under our belts and mentally we’ll know what to expect at the start of the season. 

“This year we were a bit apprehensive in our first few games because it was new to a lot of us and we weren’t sure what to expect – but that’s normal and now we’ve done very well and got ourselves in a great position.

“With more experience and a greater understanding of our teammates, we’ll be a much stronger side and it will help us to keep improving – they always say the second season is the toughest but I’m not sure that will happen with us because of how strong we are now. 

“We’ll be better prepared for the next campaign – but we need to get our job done this season first and then think ahead to next year.” 

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