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Dublin: -1°C Thursday 15 April 2021
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'A lot more to come' from Jason Knight as he keeps one eye on World Cup qualifiers

The midfielder has been excelling for Derby County.

Jason Knight (right) clashing with Luke Freeman during Derby County's game against Nottingham Forest on Friday.
Jason Knight (right) clashing with Luke Freeman during Derby County's game against Nottingham Forest on Friday.
Image: PA

WITH THE BIG game in Belgrade looming on the horizon, Jason Knight is keen to play his way into contention for the start of the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualification campaign.

The bid to reach next year’s tournament in Qatar will begin with an away game against Serbia on Wednesday, 24 March.

Knight, who made his senior international debut against Finland in October, will be hoping to win his fourth cap in Ireland’s opening Group A fixture, which will be followed by the visit of Luxembourg to Dublin three days later.

“You want to be in those plans for big games in the World Cup qualifiers,” the Derby County midfielder told his club’s official website. “Hopefully I can keep improving and playing a lot of games to force my way into the squad.” 

Currently in his second season as a member of the first-team squad at Derby, Knight continues to excel for a club he joined from Cabinteely at the age of 16.

He recently captained the Rams in the absence of David Marshall, and is set to make his 70th appearance for the club in tonight’s Championship game against Cardiff City.

“I think it has been a really good season personally for me, playing a lot of games,” said Knight, who turned 20 last month.

“But there’s still a lot more to come from me hopefully. I want to get more goals and more assists and keep improving my performances week in, week out. Hopefully that’s what I’m trying to do now.”

The young Dubliner has shown his versatility by performing in a variety of different roles across midfield when asked to do so by Wayne Rooney, who was named permanent manager at Pride Park in January.

Knight said: “I see that as a positive, that he [Rooney] trusts me to do these different roles, whether it’s out on the wing or in midfield. I can do that.

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“If he wants me to do that, I’ll do it to the best of my ability. It’s just about what’s best for the team and hopefully I can keep doing that.”

This evening in the Welsh capital, Derby will be aiming to inflict a first defeat on Mick McCarthy since he took charge of Cardiff City, who have played their way into the promotion picture with a nine-match unbeaten run under the former Ireland boss.

“It’s going to be a tough, physical game, like always at Cardiff,” Knight said, “but we know that if we perform like we can do then we’ve got a good chance in the game.” 

About the author:

Paul Dollery

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