Premier League

Knight praying for turnaround

Defender hopes to tame Torres in Sunday showdown.

Knight: Searching for points at Anfield

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Zat Knight is praying for a change in Aston Villa's fortune when his side travel to Liverpool on Sunday.

The big defender is eager for Villa to win at Anfield to resurrect their chances of a UEFA Champions League finish.

"I don't pray as such before a game but I do say a little prayer for my grandad because he never saw me play football," Knight told The Sun.

"He passed away 10 years ago and I always say something to him before I go on the pitch."

Knight, 28, watched Liverpool destruct champions Manchester United last week, but is confident he can cope with the form of striker Fernando Torres.

He said: "Torres is a fantastic player and watching Liverpool was a bit of an eye-opener. They were brilliant.

"Sometimes Torres doesn't look interested then he comes alive and the consequence of that is goals. You can't switch off for a second and I won't be.

Villa have gone seven games without a win which has seen them slip to fifth position in the Premier League, conceding the last Champions League spot to Arsenal, but Knight is not throwing in the towel just yet.

He added: "We believe we can go on to Anfield and get something. People are coming up to me saying we've thrown it away but I don't believe that.

"The fans have seen an eight-point gap go to nothing. But they need to keep believing and not jump on us straightaway.

"We see it that we are joint fourth with Arsenal and we need to keep our spirits high."

Knight has at times struggled to fit in at the club he supported as a boy, but in the absence of captain Martin Laursen, the Birmingham-born defender has stepped in to make the centre-half position his own.

"There were times when I thought 'what do I want to do?' I was getting frustrated. The manager spoke to me and said that I was unlucky," he said.

"I told myself to work hard in training, keep sharp and mentally right so that when the opportunity came I could take it.

"I believe that there is something special here and I want to be a part of it. I think my attitude has paid off in the second half of the season - I just hope I get a shirt on Sunday."