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KNOCKAERT'S MENTAL BOOST

15 September 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Anthony Knockaert smiling after Albion's first Premier League win.

Brighton & Hove Albion winger Anthony Knockaert believes the team have profited mentally after their opening win of the season, and head into this evening’s game full of confidence.

The Seagulls come up against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium tonight, and the Frenchman is delighted to be heading to the Cherries on the back of a positive performance last Saturday.

He said, ”It was really important for our confidence. It gives you a boost and takes a weight off mentally.

"It gives you the feeling that you can win games in the Premier League. That's important and also that it came early in the season.

"Teams sometimes have to wait six or seven games before they win their first one, but it was the right moment for us to take our first three points, and we’re really confident now."
 
Eddie Howe’s team are yet to get off the mark in the Premier League this season, following four successive defeats, but Knockaert touched on the difficult start the Cherries have had.

"If you look at their schedule, they've had tough games. It’s hard to play against the top teams. They've had two already like that, against Arsenal away and Man City.

"It's a tough time for them at the moment and hopefully will still be. We don't want their first win to be against us.

"It can be pressure for them, because they need a result against us. It's up to us to show what we did last week against West Brom, have a good game plan and do our job. It's not about them, it's about us.

"We showed last week we have enough quality to play at this level. If we respect what the gaffer wants, then we have a good chance to go there and perform."

Knockaert recalled his only other trip to the Vitality Stadium, back in 2014, and urged his team-mates to forget Bournemouth’s slow start to the season and focus on their own performance.

"I played there once with Leicester. That was an important game as well and I gave an assist to Kevin Phillips, who scored at the end [of the game]. It was a game we needed three points, so I have great memories.

"They (Bournemouth) haven't won a game yet, but for us this doesn't make a difference. We have to go there with the same spirit.

“It's a massive game and could be a big result for us come the end of the season."


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