Patience and perspective pay off for Norwich City’s Ryan Bennett
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Ryan Bennett has had to cut a patient figure this season – but the young defender is more than understanding about how things have panned out.
The 23-year-old centre-back has had ups and downs in equal measure since Paul Lambert signed him from Peterborough United in January 2012, but a three-month spell of inaction since the turn of the year would not have been easy for anyone.
Yet Bennett put that to bed with the man of the match champagne against Reading, including his first goal in yellow – all after coming on for the injured Michael Turner after just 18 minutes.
In fact, Saturday may well have been the high point of Bennett's career to date – although that may be for City fans, rather than the man himself, to think about.
'To be honest I don't really think about it like that,' said Bennett. 'I mean, I came here and the manager has changed, and the two lads that have played have done unbelievably well.
'I think Turns (Turner) has been one of the best players of the season since he came back in.
'He's scored a few goals too and unfortunately he had to come off against Reading, so I hope he's all right.
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'For me to sit and watch things, it's hard. At times we have not got the results and sometimes it's hard not to be playing.
'But for me I just had to stay positive. There are plenty worse things I could be doing as a job right now and I'm just happy to be here every day and working hard every day.'
The hard work will continue on Saturday when the Canaries travel to Stoke City, who are fresh from their first top-flight win since Boxing Day at Queens Park Rangers.
And the extent of Turner's groin injury may well determine whether Bennett gets his first Premier League start since the 5-0 defeat at Liverpool on January 19.
'Stoke have had a bad run, we've have a bad run – they've had a good result, so have we,' said Bennett. 'So it's going to be a game where they are going to go for it and obviously at their place, everyone knows the style they are going to come with.
'It's going to be windy, it's going to be tough and that's up to us to deal with. I'm sure if we can ride out the pressure they are going to bring, then we can nick one at the other end.'
Bennett added: 'Every result is important and the big results earlier in the season got us to this point and gave us a chance, but at this stage with the teams around us going well, Reading was an important win.
'I don't think you can look at whether the points we've got are enough for safety. That's not the question we are asking. We are looking to push on and get as many results as can, so that's hopefully what we will do.
'We've just got to keep looking forward. We've got a couple of games we could win. The last game of the season (at Manchester City) is going to be tough, but before then we've got a couple of games we can win.'