Norwich City’s Elliott Bennett spares a thought for his former boss Gus Poyet

Elliott Bennett was a key part of the Brighton squad that won the League One title in 2011 prior to

Elliott Bennett was a key part of the Brighton squad that won the League One title in 2011 prior to his Carrow Road switch. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City midfielder Elliott Bennett insists he owes Brighton's suspended manager Gus Poyet for his chance in the big time.

Poyet, along with assistant Mauricio Tarrico and coach Charlie Oatway, are currently locked in a stand-off with the Seagulls' hierarchy since the recent Championship play-off semi-final aggregate defeat to Crystal Palace. Poyet remains the subject of an internal club inquiry after public comments on his future made in the aftermath of Brighton's play-off heartbreak. Bennett was at the Amex earlier this month to watch the second leg loss to Palace and has backed his former boss.

'I saw a lot of tweets and read quite a bit of stuff that wasn't very favourable to a manager I think is brilliant,' he said. 'I don't know what is going on down there. I'm not poking my nose in. But I just think whatever is going on, it is such a shame, because I've got a lot of time for Brighton and everyone down there. It holds a special place in my heart.

'I've got the utmost respect and admiration for the manager because he has been a massive part of why I've been able to play in the Premier League with Norwich.

'I'm sure things tend to come out in the wash but I just think, for the minute, to pass judgement on what Poyet has done at Brighton is foolish.'

Bennett was a key part of the Brighton squad that won the League One title in 2011 prior to his Carrow Road switch and he is convinced both his old club and manager can eventually reach the Premier League.

'Managers and players should be judged by what they achieve on the pitch and in the dugout and the same goes for football clubs,' Bennett told the Brighton Argus.

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'It's not my place to say what is going on down there because I'm not there. I went on Twitter because I wanted to say 'fantastic football club and unbelievable manager'. I think he is destined to manage in the Premier League. You never know if he will. Football is a funny game but I just think as a manager and a man he has all the credentials and his record speaks for itself. Brighton is a fantastic football club, Gus Poyet is a fantastic manager.'