Knockaert feels Albion possess Premier League quality

Anthony Knockaert. Photograph: Angela Brinkhurst
Anthony Knockaert. Photograph: Angela Brinkhurst

ALBION wing wizard Anthony Knockaert believes his new side have enough quality in the squad to reach the Premier League.

Knockaert has impressed since signing for Brighton from Standard Liege last month and the Frenchman bagged his first goal for Albion in their 3-0 home success over Brentford at the Amex on Friday. Knockaert also provided both assists in the 2-1 home success over Huddersfield a week earlier.

As much as the winger has impressed, he has also been delighted with the strength in depth of Albion’s squad.

Knockaert was part of the Leicester side that won promotion to the Premier League two seasons ago and he believes Albion possess enough quality to achieve that feat this season.

He said: “I’ve been impressed and there are some very good players here. I feel very good in this team and it’s a good thing for me to feel confident in the team.

“Every player in this team has got real quality and I think some players deserve to be in the Premier League, so it is just about us winning games.

“Of course, we have got the quality to be in the Premier League but the difference between having the quality and getting there is a big gap. We have a lot to do but I think and believe we have the quality to go there.”

Knockaert was an integral part of the Foxes side that won the Championship two seasons ago but he feels it is impossible to compare that squad to the one currently at Albion.

He said: “I can’t really say either is better, every team is different. In this league, anyone can beat anyone, at Leicester I had a very good team and we had two strikers in Jamie Vardy and David Nugent, who could score in every game.

“Here, we have got Tomer Hemed, James Wilson and Bobby Zamora, who are very good, but don’t score in every game like Nugent and Vardy. But everyone works hard for the team and we have big quality, so I believe we have the same quality as Leicester to reach the Premier League.”

Competition for places in the wide areas has been hotting up in recent weeks, with Knockaert’s fine form coupled with a resurgence in Jamie Murphy’s showings in the past few matches.

Long-term absentee Kazenga LuaLua is getting back to fitness and the Frenchman feels that is only good for him and the team.

He added: “To have wingers who can help the team is always important. The Championship is a crazy league and it’s not about individual performance, it’s about the team.

“ I think the key to achieve to promotion is for everyone to work together from the goalkeeper to the strikers. After that, you need the players who have the individual quality but, for me, the most important is to work as a team.”

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