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Villa signing Knight: I want to be like McGrath

New Aston Villa signing Zat Knight is targeting a return to the England squad.

Knight is in line to make his first appearance for his boyhood club on Sunday in the home game against Chelsea.

The 27-year-old centre-half is fully aware of the significance of the match - and the chance it gives him to showcase his talents.

He said: "There is nothing like starting at the top against the best team in the country.

"I'm really looking forward to the challenge of playing for such an ambitious club as Villa.

"There are a few English players in the Villa side and obviously the England manager will take more notice and watch a few more games in which I am involved unlike when I was at Fulham where I was the only Englishman in the team.

"Here at Villa you have Gareth Barry in the England squad and the manager will be sending out the scouts to watch him and hopefully I will attract their attention.

"First and foremost I have to be doing it well for Villa. If I am playing week in and week out for Villa and doing well then I see no reason why I cannot get into the England team."

Knight admitted that his boyhood Villa favourite was the legendary Paul McGrath and he would love to become as popular at the club as the Irishman was during his spell at Villa Park.

He said: "Being a centre-half he was real quality. "There were a lot of rumours about him that he didn't really train but he always got nine out of ten each weekend. That is something I would like to achieve - and not train!"

Villa manager, Martin O'Neill, quipped: "Paul McGrath was that good he didn't have to train. Once you get to that stage you can take weeks off!"

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Tribal Football Staff

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