Knockaert pushing for a start on return to Leicester

Anthony Knockaert. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Anthony Knockaert. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Anthony Knockaert is pushing for a place in Albion's starting line-up as he returns to former side Leicester City this afternoon.

Knockaert, the Championship player of the season last year, suffered a ankle ligament injury in Albion's opening pre-season friendly against Fortuna Dusseldorf in July. He missed four weeks of action, before playing 20 minutes of the Seagulls' final friendly against Atletico Madrid.

He then came on for 15 minutes against Manchester City last weekend and Brighton boss Chris Hughton admits the talismanic winger is close to starting at his former side: “I've a decision to make and it probably goes without saying that if Anthony's pre-season had been different then it would possibly have been different last weekend.

"But he didn't manage in that pre-season period to play a 90 minutes. That's a decision that I have to make but he's very close and certainly he's pushing for a place."

Hughton does not feel Knockaert has a point to prove on his return to Leicester and said: “I hope not because you can only go there as a player having done what you’ve done.

"Generally in his time at Leicester he did well. I know he was well thought of. Certainly the supporters were very much behind him. I’d like to think he doesn’t have a point to prove, I don’t think he’s that type of lad anyway. I don’t think he will be going back to prove a point.

"I think he’ll want to go back and enjoy going back there because he will have had a lot of friends there. Some players, in fact quite a few, will still be there from his time there. I think he’ll just enjoy going back there. The supporters were very fond of him and I think he’ll get a good reception.”