Zat Happy To Commit For Two More Years

"We have to stick together and fight, and if we do that for 46 matches we will be back in the Premier League," says Zat

Zat Knight says that a desire to get Bolton Wanderers promoted back to the Premier League played a big part in his decision to stay at the club.

The 32-year-old officially put pen-to-paper on a new two-year contract on Monday afternoon.

And despite admitting he had alternative opportunities, Knight said that remaining at the Reebok Stadium was always his preferred choice.

"I'm looking forward to the next two years," Knight exclusively told Wanderers Player.

"I'm delighted to be staying and hopefully I can help get the team back into the Premier League. I had one or two options but I wanted to get Bolton back to the Premier League.

"Last year I had an up and down season and I found myself in and out of the team. I signed because I wanted to repay the manager and repay the fans.

"I know we are in the Championship but there is a Premier League setup here. The gaffer and his backroom staff are fantastic.

"I've won the Championship before with Fulham so hopefully I can do it again, at the first time of asking."

He added: "Some of the grounds we will be going to won't be like Old Trafford or Anfield, but we have to grin and bear it.

"We have to stick together and fight, and if we can do that for 46 matches then we will be better off and back in the Premier League next season."

Knight says another reason for extending his stay at the Reebok Stadium was a role he envisages himself playing, both on and off the field.

The big defender is now one of the most senior members of the playing squad having made 350 career appearances.

"Hopefully I can offer my input and pass on my experience to the younger boys," he explained.

"I'd like to think the gaffer wanted me to stay not just for my playing ability but also my experience and presence around the team and training ground.

"I get on with everybody and I don't feel like I'm shy when it comes to talking to the players about football.

"As much as I want the experience to rub off on the younger players, I want it to rub off on myself as well because I have ambitions of wanting to be back in the Premier League next year.

"Regardless if I'm playing or not, we are all in it together. It's a long season and we will be playing two games a week so we are going to need the squad."

Wanderers will be based at Euxton for the remainder of this week before they head north of the border to embark on their tour of Scotland to play friendlies against Ayr United, Hamilton Academical and Falkirk.

Knight continued: "The first week is about getting the base fitness, getting the team together and then gradually working into tactics.

"In Scotland I expect the lads will be doing 45 minutes, then 70 minutes and gradually building into it. Maybe next week we will start enjoying it a bit more when we are playing against opposition.

"I really am looking forward to it all. Speaking to the manager from America when I was on my holidays, he sounded really enthusiastic about this season and so was I.

"That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come back and also that I owed the club something."

Wanderers Player subscribers can watch the full ten-minute interview with Knight now. Click here for more details.

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