Knight prepared to wait
Zat Knight has no problems knuckling down, biding his time and fighting for a first-team place at Villa.
By James Pearson
Last Updated: 16/12/08 1:27pm
Defender Zat Knight has no problems knuckling down, biding his time and fighting for a first-team place under Martin O'Neill at Aston Villa.
The former Fulham stopper has been restricted to a peripheral role at Villa Park this term, with Curtis Davies and Martin Laursen forming a healthy partnership at the heart of the club's defence.
Knight is yet to make a single Premier League appearance this season, although he has been a regular in Villa's Uefa Cup campaign.
The 28-year-old has conceded he is unhappy not being a first-team regular, although, for now, he is just concentrating on winning a place back in the team rather than looking towards a transfer in the winter window.
"It doesn't sit well," Knight told Sky Sports on being a squad player. "Everyone wants to play, but the team are doing really well at the minute and the manager's not one to change the team.
"So I've just got to train well and the games that I do play in I have to play well. So if there are any injuries or lack of form I can come in and give a good account of myself.
"I want to play first-team football yes, but I'm at a good team here, we're doing well. I've just got to bide my time.
"It was the same as Curtis last year. I started the season and he had to wait until Boxing Day until I got suspended to come back into the team. It swings and round-abouts. As I've said I want to play. We'll see how it goes."
Knight and co have flown out to Germany on Tuesday ahead of their Uefa Cup Group C clash against Martin Jol's Hamburg.
Villa have already progressed beyond the group stage and Knight is hoping for another start as O'Neill looks to give some of his senior players a rest.
"We've got a young squad," he continued. "We're doing really well in the league so I think he's going to give a few players a rest.
"Everyone's been waiting for a chance to get in the team and he's going to give a few boys a chance hopefully."
England head coach Fabio Capello was full of praise for Aston Villa at his press conference on Monday and Knight says the players are delighted with his remarks.
The Italian tactician expressed his happiness with Villa's England players, such as Gabriel Agbonlahor, Ashley Young and Gareth Barry, while he also reserved special praise for James Milner.
"The boys are buzzing. It just shows where the club is going to. That's three top players.
"We've got Gareth as well, so four players out of our staring XI. So that's a great thing for Aston Villa."