Brighton's Kazenga LuaLua keen to face Newcastle United

Kazenga LuaLua (r) battles Wrexham's Jay Harris
LuaLua (right) has made 19 appearances for Brighton this season

Brighton winger Kazenga LuaLua is hopeful of recovering from a hamstring injury to face Newcastle United in the FA Cup fourth round this weekend.

The 21-year-old, who started his career with the Magpies aged 11, suffered the injury almost three weeks ago.

Boss Gus Poyet said LuaLua had done all he could to prove his fitness.

And LuaLua told BBC Sussex: "I've been running a lot and I'll try and see if I don't get any reaction. It would mean a lot to me to play."

He added: "I joined Newcastle when my brother [Blackpool forward Lomana LuaLua] was playing there.

"One day he said to me 'You're going on trial' and I didn't believe him because he likes joking.

"I had a six-week trial and they picked me after three. When you're at such a young age you're excited because you just enjoy playing football."

The Democratic Republic of Congo-born player was restricted to 15 appearances during his stay at Newcastle, which was punctuated by three separate loan spells at Brighton and one at Doncaster.

Kazenga LuaLua performs his backflip celebration in a pre-season game against Tottenham
Brighton fans are yet to see LuaLua's celebration this season

LuaLua said he would perform his trademark back-flip celebration if he played and scored against the Premier League outfit.

"If I scored against Newcastle it would be a bit weird," he added.

"I'd do a back-flip. It's not like I was playing for them week-in, week-out."

LuaLua has revealed he had to break his back to be able to be flexible enough to carry out the celebration.

"The first time I saw my brother do it when we were younger, I wanted to learn it as well," he continued.

"It was in Africa. Me and my friend were practising in gymnastics how to do a front-flip and back-flip.

"I wasn't the only one - four other people broke their backs as well. It was painful and scary at the time but I thought I might as well try."

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