Knight determined to be Villa first-choice

Aston Villa defender Zat Knight is determined to force his way back into the side next season.

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The 28-year-old was a regular in the last campaign before losing his place when Curtis Davies arrived in January.

But with Davies out with an Achilles injury, Knight knows he has the chance to impress boss Martin O'Neill again.

"Curtis will be breathing down my neck when he's back. The manager might bring in reinforcements but hopefully I will get the nod," he told the club website.

Solihull-born Knight joined Villa for £3.5m from Fulham in August 2007 and scored his first goal for the club in the win over Chelsea in September.

But he accepts that competition for places at the back was fierce.

"Before I signed, the manager asked me if I was up for the challenge because, at the time, he had three centre-halves and wanted to bring in Curtis," Knight explained. "But that's what I want. I'm confident in my ability and I have to keep on my toes because if I have a bad game someone else will be given the opportunity."

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