Defender had extra incentive to make his mark
Alan Bennett hopes his first Wimbledon goal has avoided a club fine after he turned up late for a team meeting before last night’s Northampton match.
In an interview with Rob Cornell on Dons Player, the experienced centre-back spoke of his pride at being handed the captain’s armband and he was delighted to mark the milestone with a goal.
However, he accepted that he may have to leave his Teddington home earlier from now on after he was stuck in traffic on his short journey to the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
“It was great to score and get off the mark for the club and it was also nice to captain the team,” Alan said. “I was 10 minutes late though for the team meeting at 6.30 pm and the gaffer said that if we kept a clean sheet then maybe I would get let off with the fine.
“Hopefully my goal will sway him a bit, but we will have to wait and see. I felt that the penalty was a little bit harsh. The referee said that Neil Sullivan had taken the player out, but our goalie got the last touch and it was just a collision after that. It was two points dropped for us maybe, but if we can go to Dagenham and win, then it will have been a great week for us.”
The former Cheltenham Town captain believes Wimbledon have the qualities to survive this season. However, Bennett warned that Wimbledon must replicate the intensity and commitment that they produced during the first-half last night on a more consistent basis.
“Our first-half performance was great as we were on the front foot and we took the game to them,” added the 31-year-old Irishman. “We were proactive rather than reactive and it was a big improvement, but we have to do that for 70 or 80 minutes. There are going to be periods in every game when the other team has the ball and you have to stick in there, but if we can produce what we did in the first-half on a regular basis then we will win more games than we lose.
“We are all here for the same cause and that it to help the club climb the table. It will be a great club next season if we can stay up. The way that the manager, ‘Coxy’ and ‘Bass’ run things is good to be a part of. We are all desperate to get out of this situation and sometimes that contributes to rushed passes or other errors. But we did really well last night and if we can maintain that then we should be okay. The gaffer wants to keep the squad fresh as we are going to need everyone in the coming weeks. I thought Luke Moore came back in and played incredibly well and it is going to need the whole squad to play a part for us to survive.”
Dons Player subscribers can watch the full video interview with Alan Bennett on our premium site.