Zat called up

Sunday 10 February 2002

Zat Knight says Fulham manager Jean Tigana deserves credit for helping him to break into the England Under-21 squad.

The defender has been called-up for the first time for Tuesday's friendly against Slovenia.

Promotion for Tottenham's Ledley King to the senior squad helped create the chance but Knight, 21, says he owes much to Tigana.

He said: "I did not think I would be representing England at this stage. Tigana has always said he thinks highly of me and he gave me a chance in the first-team last season. That was my break and I really praise him for giving me the opportunity."

Tigana chose to rest Knight on Saturday with the England game on his mind, but his team still won 2-0 against Blackburn at Craven Cottage thanks to goals from Barry Hayles and Steed Malbranque.

Fulham England U21 squad:

England: Robinson (Leeds), Weaver (Manchester City), Barry (Aston Villa), Upson (Arsenal), Dunn (Blackburn), Knight (Fulham), Parker (Charlton), Wright (Liverpool), Prutton (Forest), Riggott (Derby), Konchesky (Charlton), Jenas (Newcastle), Etherington (Tottenham), Defoe (West Ham), Christie (Derby), Ameobi (Newcastle), Pennant (Arsenal).