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Villa's Knight: I thought O'Neill would send me back

Zat Knight admits he feared being kicked out of Aston Villa after he was arrested as part of a drugs raid only hours into his Villa Park career.

"A million things were going through my head," he told the Guardian. "The manager could easily have pulled the plug on the deal because it hadn't been finalised at that stage. All I could think was, 'What shall I say to him?'"

Martin O'Neill, he rightly deduced, was not a man to mess about.

"I came into his office and told him everything. I didn't want to start with a lie because when you start with a lie it can snowball. So I told him the truth."

O'Neill listened, took it in and satisfied himself that his £3.5m signing was telling the truth.

"I hadn't done anything wrong and I think everyone at the club knows that," Knight continues. "The manager and all the backroom staff have all stuck by me. I just want to repay them now by playing well. I didn't even think I would play [against Chelsea]. I thought he [O'Neill] would think my head wasn't right and leave me out."

It was a show of support he had not expected, and his gratitude was evident.

"When I scored (against Chelsea) I ran to the dugout to give the manager a high-five. It was a kind of thank you. I wanted to celebrate with him and show my appreciation."

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Tribal Football Staff

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