Belfast Telegraph

Coleraine 3 Cliftonville 1

Leon Knight is desperate to be grounded by new club Coleraine less than a month after joining the Bannsiders.



The Irish League's latest goal scoring talent admits flying in and out on match days is becoming a tad tedious.

Now the London-based striker wants to fully integrate himself into Showgrounds life by staying in town.

Knight, whose two-goal blast helped sink Cliftonville on Saturday, says: “I'm more concerned about getting fully integrated with the rest of the team than I am with the hassle of commuting.

“I’m up at 5.30am and its a bit of a long haul to get here. It’s quite late when I get home too.

“I’ve been talking with Coleraine about possibly finding somewhere to stay so I can train with the players during the week.

“If we can get that sorted then I think it will help all parties.”

Knight feels at home in Coleraine: “I think I am fitting in quite well. Everyone has been tremendous, fans, players and officials. I really like the place.

“I am here to the end of the season but I've said before that if things go well I might just be happy to stay on at Coleraine. It would be disrespectful of me to say I'm just going to be here for a few months.”

Manager David Platt feels as though he has hit the jackpot just as he did with Rory Patterson last season.

“Leon is top quality and he’s not 100 per cent fit yet,” says Platt.

“His finishing is of the highest quality too and he’s getting sharper. I believe there is much more to come from him too.”

In a game where eight players were booked and Cliftonville captain George McMullan was sent off after a clash with the striker, Knight says he is not surprised at the physical nature of the local game.

“I've played in tougher matches elsewhere,” he says. “I can understand that Cliftonville were frustrated after having a man sent off but we held our own and got the result.”

Cliftonville boss Eddie Patterson was fuming with the performance of referee Hugh Carvill who booked six of his players in addition to red-carding McMullan.

Patterson, who was sitting out the final game of a three-match touchline ban, knows the spotlight has been thrown on his side’s discipline and added: “If I am at fault as the manager then I will walk away because this club does not deserve the treatment it has been receiving for the past six or seven weeks.”

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