Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Anthony Knockaert has revealed that discussing his battle with depression last week prompted an outpouring of support.
The Frenchman revealed that he’d been struggling for the previous two years away from the field but that he was now focused on the future, and he discussed the positive reaction that he’d got from speaking out about the subject last Thursday.
He said, “I received a lot of messages and I really appreciate it – I also got a lot of messages from people who are going through the same thing.
“It’s nice for me to be able to help them and I think in life everyone can help one another, that’s what I was trying to do.
“A lot of people were probably surprised because nobody knew about it, but it felt like the right time for me to tell people.
“The most important thing was to help other people who are going through a similar situation, that’s why I did it.”
Knockaert found the back of the net for Albion in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at the Amex Stadium, and he reflected positively on the contest.
“The second half gives us great belief in ourselves – we know we’re strong at home and we need to keep the momentum from the latter part of the match going.
“Tottenham are a top six side and a team who’ll be fighting for the top four, so it’s always difficult – we tried very hard and now we need to ready ourselves for next weekend.
“Manchester City will be another tough game, but you never know what can happen in football. We have to give our best on the day and see what happens.”
The trip to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday is next on the agenda for Chris Hughton’s side, and the midfielder assessed the challenge awaiting the Seagulls, as well as the team’s start to the season as a whole.
“We know how we have to approach it – we have to defend first and then exploit spaces when we can.
“Both myself and the team have to focus on ourselves – we’ve had some tough games so far this season and we’ve done well.
“We’ve already come up against three big sides in Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur – we’ve fared well so it’s a good base for us to keep going.
“We can take positives from the game - we should take the second half as an example of how we can cause any team problems when we’re at our best in this division.”