ZAT Knight loved every minute of his time at Fulham — but that won’t stop him trying to put one over on his former club.

Wanderers welcome the west Londoners to the Reebok this afternoon desperately in need of points as they look to move clear of the relegation zone.

Knight knows the visitors better than most having spent nine enjoyable years at Craven Cottage.

He looks back on his time there with a great deal of affection after the club gave him his big break back in football.

The giant defender was playing for non-league side Rushall Olympic in 1999 when Kevin Keegan, the then Fulham manager, offered him his first professional contract in a deal which saw 30 tracksuits heading in the opposite direction.

“Fulham will always have a place in my heart,” admitted Knight, who joined Wanderers from Aston Villa in the summer. “I started my career there and they are always one of the first results I look for.

“I had trials at Benfica, Birmingham and West Brom, but I chose Fulham. Some people wondered why I chose Fulham when they were in the Second Division at the time, but I thought I had more of a chance of getting in the team.

“Kevin Keegan was manager at the time. I was only down there for a week’s trial but on my second day he offered me a three-and-a-half year contract, so I took his hand off.

“I really enjoyed it even though Keegan wasn’t there for too long because he went on to become England manager.

“Sean Davis was already down there. He’d been down there as a schoolboy and, when I joined at the age of 17, we were flatmates for a few years.

“When Keegan was there we won the Second Division and then the First Division under Jean Tigana and then stayed in the Premiership.

“We used to share the Bank of England training ground where England used to train and use the BBC’s ground at Motspur Park. We never really had our own training ground.

“But me starting down there gave me a good perspective on life. I see myself as a grounded person and my heads never really been up in the clouds, even though I am six foot six inches.

“Sometimes you can go to the top and be around the best facilities and you don’t really appreciate things. But I really do appreciate what I have got and where I am today.“ And it was a move which proved equally beneficial off the pitch for Knight, with Mohamed Al Fayed the multi-millionaire owner of both Fulham and luxury department store Harrods.

“We got a good discount at Harrods,“ said the 29-year-old centre-half, who has been capped twice by England. “Al Fayed comes across as a serious because of being in the position he is, but he is a funny guy.

“When he is around the boys he is a character. And what he has done for the club is fantastic. He has brought it up to where it is today and you have to take your hat off to him.“ But, despite his debt of gratitude to his former employers, Knight is totally focused on ensuring Roy Hodgson’s side return south empty-handed as Wanderers aim return to winning ways following last weekend’s defeat at Liverpool.

“If we are going to finish anywhere decent in this league - and we want to get up to mid table, which we are capable of doing - we need to beat the likes of Fulham,“ said .

“They haven’t had a good run in the league so far and, even though they beat Portsmouth on Wednesday, we need to upset them again and get a few wins under our belts.

“Being at Fulham so long, I know they never liked travelling to Bolton. I don’t think a lot of teams like coming up here so hopefully we won’t disappoint.

“Since the manager (Owen Coyle) has come in we’ve mixed our style; playing when we need to and knocking it long when we need to.

“We just need to get that right blend. Fulham didn’t play that well the other night but we know they are going to come here and try to upset us and give their manager a bit of belief.

“The last few games I think we’ve done well apart from maybe the Liverpool game. At times, we didn’t cope with it too well.

“But if we can get back to the type of football we played against Arsenal then I think we can beat anyone.”