Bolton Wanderers captain Zat Knight eyes Capital One Cup boost
AFTER shipping five goals at home at the weekend, perhaps the last thing Tranmere Rovers need to hear right now is that Wanderers are in the mood to make someone pay for their early-season frustration.
Peterborough United put Ronnie Moore’s side to the sword at Prenton Park on Saturday but Whites skipper Zat Knight is not about to take pity on the League One strugglers.
After being out-played by Nottingham Forest and hit by a QPR sucker punch in the last fortnight, there are some raw nerves in the dressing room.
But Knight feels that victory in the Captial One Cup tonight can ease the disquiet and send Wanderers heading into the weekend’s Lancashire derby with Blackburn Rovers in an altogether better frame of mind.
“Of course, it will be a tough game again at Tranmere and then at Blackburn,” he said after Saturday’s 1-0 home reverse against Rangers. “But It would be nice to get two wins going into the international break.
“I think if we get one win, we will roll on. It does not matter whether you are playing the team top of the Premier League or a Conference team in the FA Cup, winning is a good habit. When you win you get the buzz around the changing room and you want the same buzz the week after.”
Wanderers’ 3-1 win at Shrewsbury in the last round came courtesy of two of Dougie Freedman’s young guns – Sanmi Odelusi and Rob Hall – and there are indications both could again play a part against Tranmere.
That result failed to spark a significant upturn in league form, however, and Knight, pictured right, admits the first four games have left him feeling short-changed.
“We have had tough games but we want to take points from them and not the other way round,” he said. “Forest took three from us and now QPR have. It is not good enough.
“We are playing some nice football but we can’t have that much of a game and not win.
“A point would have been fair against QPR – it was a bit of a smash ‘n’ grab. In fairness, we have had a few injuries and Darren Pratley’s suspension so we had to change it up a bit.
“And I do think we are stronger when we play that diamond formation, and look more secure. But we don’t want that gap in the league to get too big. It is frustrating.”
Tranmere’s task tonight has been made more difficult by the absence of ex-Bury full-back Andrai Jones, who serves a three-match ban after getting a straight red card in the defeat to Peterborough.
Rovers boss Moore described his side’s defending as “shambolic” and will look to bring in veteran Ian Goodison to shore things up.