Knight: Poor Form & Finances Reason Behind Release

  • May 05, 2014 | By Chris Mann
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Bolton captain Zat Knight says he is sad to be leaving the club, but understands the reasons that were given to him by manager Dougie Freedman.

Knight is one of four senior players who will leave the Reebok Stadium at the end of June, with his contract set to expire over the summer. Chris Eagles, Tyrone Mears and Jay Lynch will all join him in trying to find new clubs, after all finding themselves out-of-favour in recent times.

Having joined Wanderers from Aston Villa in July 2009, Knight admitted he was disappointed not to have helped the club back into the Premier League but says he understands that his poor form and the club's financial state meant he had no option but to move on.

"I'm sad to be leaving Bolton, but it's been a great five years here and a big learning curve for me," Knight told the club's official website.

"There have been a lot of ups and downs during my time here, but it now feels like the right time for me to make a fresh start elsewhere and have a new goal.

"Naturally I was massively disappointed when we were relegated and I was determined to stick around to try and help the team get back to where I feel we deserve to be, but unfortunately it wasn't to be.

"I don't like leaving with things having not gone the way that I wanted in terms of us getting back into the Premier League, but I just feel as though I now need to move on.

"I'm not rushing into finding another club, but when I do it has to be the right move for myself and my family.

"I hope that the team can push on next season and stake a claim for promotion - the club as a whole deserve to be up there.

"Every player that has come here has commented on how fantastic it is - from the facilities and the stadium to the staff and the fans, it's second to none and purely based on that, I really hope that they can have a great season next year.

"In hindsight, the five years I've been here have absolutely flown by and I'll leave with plenty of good memories and obviously some not so good ones, but I don't regret anything - that is life at the end of the day.

"I've enjoyed my career so far and Bolton Wanderers have played a massive part in that. I'd like to thank everyone at the club for their support during my time here and wish them the very best for the future."

In a separate interview with The Bolton News, Knight said the club's financial position meant he wasn't going to be retained and that he hopes to keep on playing for another 'three or four years'.

"The decision was more financial, with what was going on at the club, and I fully understand that," he said.

"I feel I have come to the end of the road here and I need a fresh start.

He continued: "I feel I have got longevity in me. I feel I can play on for three or four years, so we'll see what goes on next.

"The manager said to me 'I won't embarrass you by what we can offer you, you are a senior pro, and where we're going we're going to have to loan a lot of players and get young ones in'.

"Financially the club can't keep people on decent wages, but it isn't about the contract really. I said to Dougie myself that I need a fresh start. I need a new goal.

"I'm not saying I finished things here because there are a lot of things I'd change but there have been times this season that I have felt I played well and then not played the next game. That has been frustrating.

"I've sat out games this season because of the poor form I've been in. I'll hold my hands up - that's no problem.

"The manager has wanted to play the players who have got a contract next season, so that is fine.

"I hope that I can continue playing and get to where I want to be."

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