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INTERVIEW: I feel I still have something to prove at this level

Striker Richie Bennett on demanding more from himself

23 May 2018

Striker Richie Bennett bagged eight goals from his first season [47 appearances in all competitions] in the professional game but he insisted that he’s determined to do even better next time round as he looks to really stamp his mark on the club.

“I don’t think I’ve got the best out of myself this year at all,” he insisted. “I’ll be having a good rest over the summer before doing the work I need to do to be ready for pre-season.

“It’ll be a full pre-season for me this year, which is good, so that should help me to be stronger and fitter and I’ll be aiming to get the best out of myself in every game.

“I had some performances which I consider to be where I need to be, but it’s the consistency in getting that every week and in every game that I need.”

“I’ve scored some good goals, which I’m pleased about, but it isn’t just about that,” he continued. “I know I need to be a focal point for the team’s build-up play and that I need to bring others into it when I’m being closely marked.

“Strikers thrive on goals, so I do want to be getting as many as possible, but it’s the rest of my game I want to improve as well. That’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.

“Setting targets is all well and good but it’s more about doing the right things. If I concentrate on the basics I know the goals will come. The goal that was up there for goal of the season was enjoyable. A few more like that would be nice.

“The fact is that I do still feel I have something to prove at this level, but I think that’s the same for every player. You have to be at your best every time you go out there or somebody will be snapping at your heels.

“Personal pride means you want to represent yourself to the highest standard you can anyway, and there’s no better feeling than when you’ve had a good game.

“It’s been a tough season, a lot tougher than the Conference, so I’ll get a bit of recovery done and then I’ll be back at it.”

On falling just shy of the play-off places, he commented: “As a group we worked really hard and we were close, but we just couldn’t make that final step to get in there.

“Looking back over the whole season, if we could have turned our draws at home into wins we’d have been right in amongst it. That’s the most frustrating thing about it. All we can do is learn from it and go again next season.

“It’s a case of working hard over the summer and making sure we get a good pre-season so we’re ready to push on.

“It’s a club with some excellent lads in it and we know we aren’t too far away. We just need to give that little bit extra to take the draws we’ve been getting to victories. The away record is good so the only problem we’ve had has been drawing too many games at Brunton Park.”

And with a new manager and staff due to be appointed, he told us: “I’ll be the same as everybody else with watching the social media channels and the news for who the new manager and players will be, and I know they’ll have everybody’s backing from the moment they get here.

“It’s something else to look forward to and the challenge there will be to impress and to get into the team. That’s definitely what I’ll be looking to do.”

Click the play button on the image above to watch Richie Bennett's league goals from last season.


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