Albion's winger is determined to come through a tough period.
Anthony Knockaert says he would be happy to spend the remainder of his career at Brighton & Hove Albion, and expressed his gratitude for the tremendous support given to him by all at the club.
The Frenchman missed Albion’s 2-0 victory against Bristol City in November following the passing of his father, but is now focused on returning to his best form and making his dad proud.
He said, “I will never forget Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, if I could play here for all of my life, I would be happy.
“If you ask me about one dream I have now, it’s getting promoted with this club for what it’s done for me and my family.
“It’s obviously been tough for me, but I’m trying my best to be back at my best level as soon as possible.
“I wasn’t at my best in the last two games that I started, but it’s a normal thing because it’s been physically and mentally hard for me, it was the toughest moment of my life.
“The support from the club and gaffer [Chris Hughton] has pushed me forward, and now I need to work hard and make my dad even prouder than he was.”
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Knockaert started on the bench in Albion’s 0-0 draw against Cardiff City last weekend, but the 25-year-old insists the focus must be on achieving success as a team, not individually.
“It was the manager’s choice and he thought it was the best thing to do, and I respect that. As long as we win the game, I’m happy. We have to think about the team and not ourselves.
“If we go up, we’ll all be happy and going in the same direction next year, to the Premier League. That’s how we all need to think.
“I’ve never heard somebody complain about being on the bench and that’s why we’re second in the league.
“It’s really important that the first-team players have a good mentality and team spirit, and if we keep that, I think it will pay off.”
The Seagulls can go top of the Sky Bet Championship with victory over Leeds United this evening, and Knockaert is focused on maintaining Albion’s impressive unbeaten run at the Amex.
“We’re unbeaten in 13 games now and if we keep that momentum for as long as we can, I think we’ll be up there at the end of the season.
“After every ten games people think differently in the Championship, because it’s a crazy league and everyone can beat each other.
“Derby were struggling at the start of the season, but they are back already. Everyone can get promoted and get into the play-offs.
“It will be an interesting season, but hopefully we’ll be the ones that lift the trophy.”
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