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Fulham defender Zat Knight says he has Chris Coleman’s first words of advice to him as a first team player ringing in his ears whenever he pulls on the black and white.

The tall centre back is not shy of revealing that he has learnt so much from Coleman, a fellow centre half, during the Welshman’s time in charge. He admits that Coleman’s reminder to ‘keep it simple’ ahead of Fulham’s 3-0 win at Tottenham in August, where the youngster delivered a composed display at the heart of the visiting defence, was the moment when he was able to turn his potential into Premier League reality.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Knight said:

“He just told me to go out there and just keep things simple. The season before I might have got caught out trying to do the difficult things, but now I try and keep it simple and I think that’s made a big difference. I played in a handful of games two years ago, but last season I played nearly every game bar a handful. So I am over the moon and hopefully it is a sign of better things to come.

He was the captain when I first joined Fulham and was obviously someone who I looked up to – especially as he played in the same position as me – and since he has taken over he has given me plenty of encouragement and helped me out a lot. I’m just trying to pay him back for that now.”

Knight has politely dismissed suggestions that he might be able to feature for Sven-Goran Eriksson’s England side in the future, concentrating on consolidating his club position.

Hopefully next season we can try and finish in a European place and, for myself, my goal is to stay in the first team and do well enough to try and get in to the England squad.”