O'Neill backs Knight to bounce back from Red Devils horror show

Last updated at 13:03 25 October 2007

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has given a vote of confidence to defender

Zat Knight who was at fault for the opening two goals in the home mauling by

Manchester United.

Knight has impressed since his move from Fulham in August but had an off-day

against the Red Devils, who triumphed 4-1 at Villa Park, and came in for heavy


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Zat Knight

But O'Neill has been pleased with Knight's overall contribution which has meant

Curtis Davies has still to start a Barclays Premier League game since his switch

from West Brom two months ago.

O'Neill said: "Everyone will come in for criticism at certain stages. I'm not

going to go down the route of singling out any players.

"Everyone has a responsibility, every time you step on the pitch. In every

Premier League game you play, you have a chance of doing well or playing


"Overall I've been very pleased with Zat. He got into the side a week or 10

days before Curtis Davies arrived here and I've been impressed. I've been

pleased with the efforts of a lot of the team."

O'Neill is demanding a positive response from his players at Bolton on Sunday

and is calling for an improvement.

He said: "For us to try and get to a really decent position we have to find a

bit more. If it's not there, then that's another viewpoint.

"But we must find a bit more and, if you're playing against teams such as

Manchester United, you're facing top quality players who are naturally very good

players, but also very good thinkers on the field.

"Against these teams you have to up your game. That goes for all of us because

you're encountering different problems than you would do against relatively

normal Premier League opposition.

"You've got to be able to learn about the little intricacies and that's why

they're exceptional players. Everybody has to analyse their own game and see how

they can improve. That goes for all of us."

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