Knockaert close to making his first start as Albion are told to learn fast

Anthony Knockaert came off the bench against Leicester City on Saturday. Picture by PW Sporting Pictures
Anthony Knockaert came off the bench against Leicester City on Saturday. Picture by PW Sporting Pictures

Wing wizard Anthony Knockeart is close to making his first start for Brighton & Hove Albion and expected to feature against Barnet in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.

The second-round clash at the Amex against the League Two outfit will give manager Chris Hughton an opportunity to give his fringe players minutes.

Knockaert is in contention to make his first start of the season on his return from an ankle injury having come off the bench against Manchester City and Leicester City.

The influential wide man is being eased back into action by Hughton after playing a bit-part role in their pre-season campaign.

On his decision to start him among the substitutes in Albion's 2-0 defeat at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, the manager said: "He was close. The only reason I didn't start him was because he has had a different pre-season to everyone else. I didn't play him in the whole of the pre-season period.

"What he has had is an input on Saturday and input in the last game. We have a game mid-week and I will use the players that I have to use in that mid-week game and look to pick a team next Saturday."

Hughton has also warned that his stars must learn fast as they plot to pick up their first points in the Premier League.

A lacklustre display against Leicester saw them sink to back-to-back defeats on Saturday, but the manner of the performances was the more worrying factor.

Hughton said: "It's a question of learning fast and I know our players can play better than what we have. And I know our players will play better than what they did on Saturday.

"That's the benchmark and most will accept when you are playing against your Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, United and Tottenham and so on, they are a completely different level, but I think there are a big group of teams that are below that. We have to make sure we get closer to them."