Rotation system has Bolton Wanderers defender Zat Knight guessing

Zat Knight regards squad rotation as a challenge

Zat Knight regards squad rotation as a challenge

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

ZAT Knight admits he has found it a challenge getting his head round Wanderers’ squad rotation system in recent weeks.

The big defender has been in top form, scoring his second goal in three games against Yeovil on Saturday, but has still found his place in the side far from certain.

Despite a man-of-the-match display against Derby a fortnight ago, Knight was dropped for the 2-0 defeat at Brighton.

Back in the team at Huish Park he continued his hot streak – but going into tonight’s home clash with Blackpool he accepts there are no guarantees he will retain his shirt.

“It can be frustrating because of course you want to play every game,” he said.

“It’s the manager’s decision and you have to live with it, but I’ll carry on playing for my place.

“I feel like I’ve had a decent season and I’ve felt a bit unlucky at times being out of the team but that’s football, and it’s about character and how you bounce back.

“You can have a great game one week and then get dropped. It’s about how you keep yourself mentally.”

While Knight’s relationship with Wanderers’ fans has been a complex one at times, it is safe to say his stock has never been higher than in recent weeks.

He has even been given his own chant, to the tune of Euro-pop band Corona’s “Rhythm of the Night” – but the big man is not expecting the song to storm the charts.

“I’ve heard it and it’s great,” he said.

“It’s nice to hear fans singing your name and I do feel like I owe them a bit,” he added.

Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Yeovil showed up Wanderers’ split personality this season and left Knight conveying a familiar sense of frustration from the dressing room.

“It’s been the story of our season,” he said. “We’ve played some good football but sometimes that’s not enough.

“We shouldn’t be waiting until we’re two goals down to react. We should be punishing teams.”

But the ex-England man believes the club can still end the campaign on a high note, starting with this week’s two home derbies against Blackpool and Wigan Athletic.

“They are two massive games for us now and thinking back to the Blackburn match a few weeks ago, it would be great to leave the fans with a smile on their face like we did then,” he added.

“The aim for us now is just to finish as high up the table as we can and then go from there.”

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