(Picture: Action Images)
Brighton manager Chris Hughton has said Anthony Knockaert will be given time to rediscover the scintillating form he was showing before the death of his father.
Knockaert, 25, missed the match at Bristol City on the 5th of November because he was in France mourning the passing of his father with the rest of his family, and hasn’t been at his best since his return two games ago.
However, Hughton is very understanding, and says it is perfectly natural for the Seagulls star to be below par.
He told the Argus: “He’s had a period of time off and it’s probably fair to say that he hasn’t got back to his levels.
“It’s normal and it’s natural. He is also a player that we know, even this season, can have games where he doesn’t play so well and just produces something.
“So with Anthony you always give him a little bit more time and encourage him, because you know he can produce something.”
Knockaert, who has six goals so far this campaign, is expected to keep his place for Saturday’s trip to Cardiff, a team Brighton struggled against last season.
As well as drawing the home fixture 1-1, the South Coast club uncharacteristically lost 4-1 in the Welsh capital, so Hughton will give his team selection a lot of thought in the build up to Saturday’s clash – most notably, who will accompany Knockaert on the opposite flank.
Jiri Skalak, and his impressive set-piece deliveries, have seen him become a regular starter, but Jamie Murphy impressed from the start against Fulham on Saturday, and young-star Solly March continued his recovery from knee damage in last night’s Under-23 win over Wolves.
All three will hope to get the nod from Hughton, who will be concentrating on making the right decision as his side continue to hunt down league leaders Newcastle.