WINGER Darryl Knights insists he is to blame for failing to earn a new contract at Spytty Park.
The former Kidderminster and Yeovil player was released on Wednesday after two seasons with the Exiles, making him one of a string of players to make his final appearance for the club at Wembley in their FA Trophy final defeat.
Knights, 24, was signed by manager Dean Holdsworth and in two seasons played for FOUR different bosses, also featuring for Tim Harris, Anthony Hudson and Justin Edinburgh.
Edinburgh is dismantling the current squad with the force of a sledgehammer and has already released seven players with Knights arguably the most surprising name in the list.
A fans’ favourite with a knack for scoring some key goals, the ex-Ipswich flyer had been on most supporters’ retained lists but has been overlooked for a new deal.
However, Knights isn’t bitter and insists he’s only got himself to blame.
“I don’t think I did enough to deserve a new deal, I have not performed as well as I think I can this season,” he said.
“To be fair the gaffer has given me some opportunities to impress him and make myself a starter in the team and I didn’t take those opportunities.
“I know I have been below the standards I am capable of and I feel like I let myself down.”
Knights did admit he has not found this campaign to be as enjoyable.
“I loved last season, the group we had, the camaraderie,” he said.
“We didn’t end the season well but I believed we could contend for promotion this season, that’s why I agreed to stay at the club.
“But it didn’t work out for us and it’s been tough, but obviously Wembley was a nice way to bow out.”
Knights played a key role in helping the Exiles to Wembley, scoring the decisive third goal in the 3-1 first leg victory over Wealdstone in the semi-final.
“That was a big moment for me, I just wish I could have kicked on from it,” he said.
“It was a brilliant experience to play at Wembley, memorable and special for my whole family and I just wish we could’ve got the result for the fans.
“They’ve been amazing to me and I’ll miss them. Not many clubs could nearly get relegated and take 12,000 people to Wembley, not at our level anyway.”
Knights is open-minded about his future but has indicated he would prefer to remain in his native Midlands.
“I have done a lot of travelling over the last two years so I’d prefer to stay closer to home but that’s not the be all and end all,” he commented.
“I have sat down with my agent and had some talks and now I will wait and see. I’d love to get back into the Football League but I just want to sign somewhere where I will be happy and get games.”