Knight enjoying Dorchester ‘learning curve’

Alan Knight. Picture: Barry Zee
Alan Knight. Picture: Barry Zee
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Pompey legend Alan Knight won’t let Dorchester Town’s thumping 6-3 defeat at the hands of his old club, the Hawks, last weekend dim his enthusiasm for management.

The 50-year-old took over at the Avenue last November – his first managerial post – and has enjoyed good success, tasting defeat just once in 14 games before last weekend.

Knight accepts that his first few months in charge has been a learning curve and he has been in the game long enough to know there will be highs and lows.

‘I am enjoying it, although we had a bit of a bottom-smacking from the Hawks,’ said Knight.

‘Football is like that.

‘These days are all part of it and we have to take it on the chin.

‘I probably face my biggest challenge now after watching us concede six goals at home.

‘It will be my job to try and lift the lads and re-instill the belief back into them.

‘We have also just had a five-week period without a game due to the weather and fixture anomalies and that was a new one on me.

‘That hasn’t been easy and we suffered a bit from that.

‘We got practice games in but they are never a substitute for the real thing.’

Managing at semi-professional level often throws up unique problems for managers and Knight has certainly found this the case.

Finances are limited and Knight even quipped that the club was forced to sell one of their players because they needed a new boiler.

Another member of his squad, Rico Wilson, has just been found guilty of grievous bodily harm and is awaiting sentencing in the next week.

‘In general there have been things that I didn’t know I would have to deal with,’ said Knight.

‘That includes the things that might be happening in a player’s life and also the little day-to-day running of the football club.

‘Ensuring there is enough water on the pitch to making sure all the cups are clean are things all managers at this level have to deal with and get on with.

‘I don’t feel it is anything I can’t adapt to.

‘One thing I learned from the managers I played under was that the job is easy when things are going well.

‘It’s when things are not so good you have to show your mettle.

‘That’s when you are tested and maybe now this is my time to be tested.

‘I would have preferred the defeat not to have been against my old club.

‘But my players have been fantastic for me up until now.

‘We have got ourselves in a position where we can achieve Dorchester’s best-ever finish in the Conference South, and that is what we are aiming to achieve.’