Legend emotional about Pompey return

Alan Knight returns to Pompey today as goalkeeping coach
Alan Knight returns to Pompey today as goalkeeping coach

Alan Knight sealed an emotional return to Pompey and admitted: I feel like a teenager making his debut.

Knight has completed a comeback to the one-and-only club he served in his professional career with a record 801 appearances.

The man known as the ‘Legend’ to the Fratton faithful has linked up with the Blues as goalkeeper coach until the end of the season.

Knight will take up the role with immediate effect, beginning his duties against Hartlepool at Fratton Park today as he reunites with former Blues team-mates Guy Whittingham and Andy Awford.

Knight confessed he expects his feelings will be running high as he steps back on to the pitch which was his home for 22 years in his playing days.

He said: ‘I’ve been asked to come back to the end of the season, and I’m very excited about it.

‘The club are obviously very dear to me and I love it very much. So it’s wonderful to be back again and see some old faces.

‘I’m made up and when the call came I was more than happy to help the guys out.

‘I feel like that little 16-year-old making his debut at Rotherham all those years ago. I’ve got those butterflies in the belly again.

‘I’m chuffed and I will be quite emotional going back today – but I’m worried I could pull a hamstring when I first kick a ball!

‘You end up with Portsmouth Football Club in your DNA, though, and that’s the way it’s been for me.

‘It’s a part of me. Now I can’t wait to get back out there and get going again.’

Knight’s Pompey return as goalkeeping coach accelerated this week, after Whittingham initially suggested he was looking to make an internal appointment.

But the caretaker boss opted to turn to Blues hall-of-famer Knight, who was awarded an MBE in 2001.

Knight knows he comes into a job in a frenetic period, with games coming thick and fast.

He said: ‘I met with Awfs a couple of weeks ago, and then, this week, Guy rang and arranged to meet.

‘We got together on Thursday and talked about doing it part-time with my current job. But you wouldn’t be able to do it part-time and do it justice.

‘My employers were understanding and allowed me to go because you don’t get many second chances to do it, and it’s exciting.

‘It’s all hands to the pump now. We want to give it a good go this season and see where it takes us.

‘The fixtures are coming fast, with midweek games nearly all the way through.

‘Hopefully we can now get in there and keep one or two clean sheets. We have to have a siege mentality and start winning games.

‘I’ve seen most of the games and the keepers have not been doing a lot wrong. Hopefully we can get the defensive unit to get together as a whole.

‘The job’s until the end of the season and to have a general overview.

‘It’s all ifs and buts after that with the ownership issue.

‘Hopefully we can start getting the team winning games first and foremost.’