Newcastle United are welcome to the Championship title - Brighton star

Anthony Knockaert
Anthony Knockaert

Brighton star Anthony Knockaert says rivals Newcastle United are welcome to the Championship title - provided they go up to the Premier League with the Magpies.

The Seagulls were involved in a near miss last season, as they lost out to Middlesbrough on goal difference for the second automatic promotion place, eventually crashing out in the play-off semi-finals.

And Knockaert, who was a summer transfer target for United last year, admits that although the silverware would be nice, he's not concerned about getting involved in a title race with United.

Instead he just wants to make sure Brighton go up, even if that meant finishing 15 points behind Rafa Benitez's men.

Ahead of tonight's clash with Birmingham City at the Amex Stadium, which if they win could see Knockaert & Co return to the top of the second tier table, the Frenchman told the Argus: "I don’t care about winning the title this season. If we can do it, we will do it.

"We’re not stupid, we’re going to do everything we can to win this trophy. But if we finish second, 15 points behind Newcastle, I will be happy.

"I’m not scared to say it, because you know how much this club would love to be in the Premier League.

"You know how long they’ve been trying to do it, in the play-offs a few times and have always lost, so it doesn’t matter what position we finish.

"If it’s first or second, as long as we do it the club will be happy."