Bolton Wanderers skipper Zat Knight gives team-mates a reality check

Zat Knight accepts Wanderers are in a dogfight in the Championship danger zone

Zat Knight accepts Wanderers are in a dogfight in the Championship danger zone

First published in Sport This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

ZAT Knight has urged Wanderers to wise up and realise they are in a Championship relegation fight.

Realisation seems to be dawning in Dougie Freedman’s squad that without a swift turnaround in form, the rest of the season is to be spent fending off an unthinkable drop into League One.

And the club captain – usually one of the camp’s most upbeat protagonists – is leading the call for the Whites to get themselves in order before it is too late.

“There is no point saying we are better than we are,” said the big defender. “We’ve gone the whole season thinking ‘it’s going to turn, it’s going to turn’ but it hasn’t. I’m sick of saying it.

“Our performances show where we are – and it’s not good enough.

“We can’t be good for 45 minutes and then allow teams to score after half time and start chasing the game.

“We are in it. It might be temporary and I hope it is but that’s where we are at the moment.”

While defeats against Cardiff and QPR have served to aggravate an already discontented support base, Knight hopes that the club can come together as a whole to get through their current predicament.

“All we can do is stick together and ride it out,” he said. “There is no hiding now.

“We’re four points off the bottom and you can’t get away from that.

“We’ve shown some improvement in the last two games, Cardiff and QPR, who are two good teams with better players. But we also need to be doing it against the Bournemouths or the Ipswich Towns. If we can, maybe our luck starts to turn.”

Portman Road holds some unhappy recent memories for Wanderers, not least last season’s dramatic late 1-0 defeat.

“We went down there last year and lost to a last-minute goal,” Knight said.

“It’ll be a tough game because Mick McCarthy has got them playing some good football, especially at home.

“We need to stick together. If we got to Ipswich and put in a performance like we did against QPR we’ll be okay. I honestly don’t think we should have lost that game – a draw would have been good enough.

“We can’t cry over spilled milk. There is another game to concentrate on.”

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