by Paddy Davitt
Monday, July 30, 2012
Ryan Bennett believes Norwich’s quartet of summer signings has raised the bar for the rest of the Canaries’ squad.
The 22-year-old will relish the challenge of forcing his way into a defence bolstered again by the arrival of Sunderland centre-back Michael Turner on the eve of City’s 2-0 friendly win at his former club Peterborough. Turner joins Robert Snodgrass, Steven Whittaker and Jacob Butterfield in Chris Hughton’s squad and Bennett knows competition for a starting spot will be fierce.
“We are a Premier League team and that means players coming in all the time,” he said. “With the new manager he wants to bolster his options and it is nice to have that competition. The squad is getting bigger, which makes it even harder to play, but I am sure everyone will keep working hard and stick together and we can benefit from that and have a good season.
“We don’t pay too much attention as players. We see things in the press and read the speculation but that is nothing to do with us. We just train and leave that to the backroom staff. We haven’t really met the two new lads yet but I am sure they will be welcomed and can hit the ground running.”
Bennett is keen to tap into Turner’s big time Premier League experience.
“I don’t know too much about him. I’ve seen him play on television like everyone else,” he said. “When he was at Hull I was at Grimsby so that was fairly local and he did very well. He has played a lot of games in the Premier League – so that is all you need to know that he is a very good player. He has been there, been promoted, captained teams and hopefully he can pass that experience on and I can benefit. There is a lot of defenders here now. I think five centre backs so only two can play at any one time. That is going to be hard but it is the same at every Premier League club.”
Bennett played 45 minutes in an unaccustomed right-back role after replacing another Posh old boy Russell Martin at half-time.
“I’ve played only a couple of times in the Championship before in that position. I wouldn’t read too much into that,” he said. “I am happy to play where ever in the team. Obviously it was the first time I have been back since I moved, not including the loan spell. It was a little bit weird, to be fair, with getting changed in the away dressing room and coming out playing against a manager and a set of players I was with for so long.
“The manager there gave me my chance. When he came back I wasn’t really playing and I worked well with him and I loved the way he worked and I am sure he will go on to great things as well. I felt both teams did well. It’s nice to win and we have done that with our last two, which is pleasing, but it is all about fitness at this stage.
“Against Celtic we defended well and it was nice to do the same. Ajax will be another tough match but we are a Premier League side now and we need to show that we can do that side of the game.”