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Page last updated at 14:12 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 15:12 UK

Knight hopes for first-team spot

Zat Knight
Knight moved to Villa from Fulham last August for 3.5m

Aston Villa defender Zat Knight says he is determined to force his way back into the side next season.

The 28-year-old was a regular in the last campaign before losing his place when Curtis Davies arrived in January.

But with Davies out with an Achilles injury, Knight knows he has the chance to impress boss Martin O'Neill again.

"Curtis will be breathing down my neck when he's back. The manager might bring in reinforcements but hopefully I will get the nod," he told the club website.

Solihull-born Knight joined Villa for 3.5m from Fulham in August 2007 and scored his first goal for the club in the win over Chelsea in September.

But he accepts that competition for places at the back was fierce.

"Before I signed, the manager asked me if I was up for the challenge because, at the time, he had three centre-halves and wanted to bring in Curtis," Knight explained.

I thought I built a good relationship with Martin [Laursen] last season and I think we compliment each other

Aston Villa defender Zat Knight

"But that's what I want. I'm confident in my ability and I have to keep on my toes because if I have a bad game someone else will be given the opportunity."

With Davies not likely to return to action until the autumn, England cap Knight and Martin Laursen are Villa's only two senior centre-backs.

And Knight is looking forward to playing with his defensive colleague again.

"I thought I built a good relationship with Martin last season and I think we compliment each other and, defensively, we are quite strong," he said.


see also
Villa complete 3.5m Knight deal
29 Aug 07 |  Aston Villa


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