ANTHONY KNOCKAERT has been told there is no defence for the red card challenge which has sidelined Albion’s French winger for at least five weeks.

Knockaert was sent-off by referee Roger East for a two-footed jump tackle on Leighton Baines in the 2-0 defeat at Everton.

Baines escaped injury, but Knockaert will be hurt by a three-match ban, starting with Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

He will also miss successive games at the Amex in the Premier League after the international break against his old club Leicester on March 31 and Huddersfield a week later.

The next match Knockaert will be available for is the trip to Crystal Palace on April 14.

Boss Chris Hughton told The Argus: “It’s always very much within the club in how we deal with it, but he will miss three games.

“At this stage of the season it is, of course, important for us as a club but also him as an individual.

“If you are looking at sacrifices that are made he will miss three games.”

Albion were already 2-0 down when Knockaert made the tackle close to the touchline.

“I’ve got no answer,” Hughton said. “I’ve only seen the challenge. What happened before that I haven’t seen, but it’s a red card and I can’t defend it.”

The result ended Albion’s seven-match unbeaten run, but they are still seven points clear of the relegation zone with eight games left.

Hughton said: “When you are a club like us and in the position you are in, what is behind you is more important than what is in front of you. The stronger emphasis is there and making sure we don’t drop into those areas where it becomes incredibly difficult for us.

“We have got eight games left, we play four of the big teams, and it’s a tough finish for us. We will need performances we have produced in recent games (before Everton) and as many players available as possible.”