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POCOGNOLI READY FOR DEBUT

20 September 2016

The Belgian full-back is set to feature for Albion against Reading tonight.


Sebastien Pocognoli cannot wait to start playing football for Brighton & Hove Albion, and hasn’t ruled out the possibility of extending his stay with the Seagulls beyond the end of the season.

The full-back is set to make his Albion debut against Reading in the EFL Cup tonight after arriving on a season-long loan deal from West Bromwich Albion, and believes there is a good atmosphere around the club.

He said, “My ambition is to get promoted with Brighton, and stay here. I followed the club a lot last season, because when a team wants you, even for just two or three months on loan, you start to watch them.

“I saw the play-offs, and I was very disappointed for the club. Moving to Brighton was a big interest to me, and they wanted to bring me here too; the gaffer signed a new deal, and I was already aware of the facilities.

“The stability is here, which is why they were nearly promoted last season. I feel the positive energy around the club, and that’s exactly what I need.”

The Belgian international expressed his frustration at the lack of game time he had at the Hawthorns, but is now focused on taking his chance with the Seagulls, starting this evening at the Amex.

“It was the first time in my career that I wasn’t involved for a long time [at West Brom]. I need games now, and confidence in my body, because when you don’t practise your job every weekend, it’s tough to come back.

“I’ve been working hard to get fit, and reach my best level again. The first week was about setting everything up here in Brighton, and now I’m looking forward to making my debut for the club.

“It was very frustrating, but now I’m into the last year of my contract, so I need to play games and then see what happens at the end of the season.”

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Pocognoli has been particularly impressed with two members of Albion’s squad, and was well aware of the standard of football to expect when joining the Seagulls on loan.

“We have a good squad, and I’m not surprised about the level of training here, because of what I saw from last season.

“Anthony [Knockaert] is a very good player. It’s a pleasure to train with all the lads, but if you ask me which players have the best future, I’d say Dunky [Lewis Dunk] and Anthony, for sure.

“Anthony is a huge player for the club. When he came in from Standard Liege, he had a direct impact on the team, and he made the difference in a lot of games at the end of last season.

“They both have outstanding quality, and you can see there’s something special with these two players.”

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