Audio: Elliott Bennett happy to help Norwich City’s defensive cause against Bolton Wanderers
Elliott Bennett was only too happy to help as the makeshift right-back played his part in Norwich City's second clean sheet of the season – and more importantly moved them three points closer to Premier League survival.
Bolton Wanderers were eventually put to the sword as the weight of City's chances finally told in the final quarter of Saturday's Carrow Road clash; Andrew Surman and Anthony Pilkington sealing the win.
But that only tells part of the story, given the first-half withdrawal of centre-back pairing Dani Ayala and Zak Whitbread with hamstring injuries.
City's eventual back four of winger Bennett and trademark right-backs Russell Martin and Kyle Naughton alongside Adam Drury stood firm – with Bennett looking a natural in unfamiliar surroundings.
'I've not too much experience there,' admitted Bennett. 'I've filled in a couple of times for Brighton and I'm happy to do that here. I've said that before; if I can get in the team and help the team out in any way then I'll play anywhere.
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'I think the way we played made it easy for anyone to play anywhere. You could have put anyone there, just the way we played and controlled the game.
'Thankfully today we've managed to get the three points, but the overall thing is the team performance after a bad performance on Wednesday – it just shows that we can bounce back. I thought we thoroughly deserved the win.
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'Before I went on I thought we were really on top of them. We set our stall out from the start to get at them and we were trying to avenge what happened on Wednesday, and I think we did that really well and thankfully got the win today.'
Predictably, Trotters boss Owen Coyle threw on no-nonsense striker Kevin Davies to tuck into City's makeshift back line – yet Bennett and his temporary defensive partners stood up to the task, including one canny piece of covering that saw Bennett flick away Chris Eagles' teasing second-half centre with Bolton's number 14 lurking.
'The one where I got up eating dirt?' quizzed Bennett. 'It skimmed my head – to be fair I just tried to get my body in the way and thankfully I didn't score an own goal, because otherwise I wouldn't be speaking here now…'
The prognosis over Whitbread's tight hamstring is initially positive, although the extend of Ayala's strain could be worse depending on the result of a scan.
As far as Saturday went, Bennett admitted losing their two centre-backs before the interval knocked Norwich out of what had been a positive stride.
'Those two in recent weeks have been a great partnership and obviously when you lose two of your centre-halves you have got to get to grips with everyone and they have all got to get up to speed with the game and the players that come on,' said Bennett.
'And I think once we did that we regained control of the game and did what we started off doing and kept peppering them and managed to get the two goals.'
The ninth-placed Canaries have now lost just two of their last 10 top-flight games – but there was undoubted pressure on Saturday given City's failure at Sunderland in midweek. For that reason, Bennett hailed Norwich's weekend efforts.
'It is a massive win psychologically, to bounce back in any league – but especially in the Premier League,' he said. 'We had a really disappointing result on Wednesday and we were all really disappointed about our performance, and the gaffer told us to go and put it right today, and I think we did that really well and got a great victory.
'Some of the performances from the front lads like Pilks, Surs and Wes (Hoolahan), they really get fans on their feet and when we are on top like that it's brilliant and they push us towards that goal and we got two today.'