Best of enemies

Wednesday 30 January 2002

Fulham's Zat Knight and Sean Davis may be good friends and flatmates but when it comes to team selection, manager Jean Tigana has ensured they are rivals.

The pair normally play in different positions but Knight, a defender, has taken his mate's midfield place in five of the last six games.

He can do so with a clear conscience as the broken nose Davis suffered in a reserve game last week will keep him out for at least another week.

But 21-year-old Knight has no plans to relinquish his place in the side. He said: "It does not matter that we are friends because if I am playing well I deserve to play in the team.

"I don't really enjoy playing in that position and would prefer to be at centre-back but it is nice to be involved and I am pleased with how I am doing.

"Sean encourages me. We have had some friendly banter, but I think it will make him work harder to get back in when he is fit ."

But Knight knows he is unlikely to win a place in central defence until Alain Goma or Andy Melville lose form or fitness.

He played there earlier this season but admitted: "Those two are playing well so I have no complaints. I have to wait for my chance and take it when it comes.

"Tigana gave me my debut for the club this season and I am happy with what he has done for me.

"I don't think he likes to rush his young players and that is fine as I am happy to wait."