REDA KHADRA believes the support he received from Blackburn fans during his loan spell from Albion allowed him to play his best football.

The attacker impressed at Ewood Park, scoring four goals and assisting three more in 27 appearances before injury cut his season short.

Khadra was joined at the Lancashire club by fellow Albion loanee Jan Paul van Hecke, who would go on to win the player of the season award at the club. Hecke was the first loan player to win the award and proves the relationship that the players built with the fans.

The Argus: Reda Khadra in action for Brighton and Hove AlbionReda Khadra in action for Brighton and Hove Albion

Khadra said: “I think our connection with the fans came because JP and I gave 100 per cent on the pitch every game, we never acted like we were only loan players who didn’t care about the club. We would really care if we didn’t win.

“The bond between me and the fans was great. They pushed me and gave me confidence. I knew if I tried something and it didn’t come off they would still back me.

“As a team we would go out for meals together, the group was really tight. I really enjoyed it, you could speak to anyone in the dressing room, there weren’t any cliques and they were like a family to me.

“We were disappointed to not finish in the play-offs but in football you need to keep going and hopefully next season they will do it. Let’s hope we see each other in the Premier League one day.”

The Argus: Reda KhadraReda Khadra

Khadra's best moment of the season was winning the goal of the season award for his brilliant free-kick against QPR, as Blackburn won the game 1-0.

The German under 21 international believes the faith put in him by manager Tony Mowbray has helped him develop as a player.

He said: “It was a pretty good season for me and the award was a great feeling. To have the trust from the manager was really important for my progress.

“I was on the bench for the first few games but then I got into the team and did well from that point on.

“You understand the game better the more you experience it. If someone gives you the chance when you’re out on loan, I feel you do become a better player.”

Khadra joined Albion as a free transfer after he was released from Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund.
He made his first team debut for the club in January 2021 as he came on as a late substitute against Manchester City.