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Ben aims to lead the way as he seeks to reignite his career

Towering defender can't wait to get back out on the pitch

12 February 2021

Ben Heneghan is determined to make up for lost time after recovering from a seven-week injury lay-off that interrupted his promising start at Wimbledon.

The experienced defender joined us in November and marked his debut with a clean sheet and a victory at the home of Saturday’s opponents Rochdale, but a hamstring injury has sidelined him since Boxing Day. Ben built up a reputation as a no-nonsense defender during spells with Chester, Blackpool, and Motherwell, but he signed for us as a free agent after leaving Sheffield United. 

“I am fit and ready to go. I feel as good as ever really, so I’m just waiting for that call,” said Ben. “I pulled my hamstring in the Oxford game, so it has been about seven weeks and a long graft. I’ve not had an injury for years and I can’t remember the last one. I’ve been in the gym all alone, but I just have that mindset of getting my head down and getting the work in, so that I can get back out on the pitch as soon as possible.

“The lads are buzzing and so they should be after finally getting the win. We just have to take it into the next game and build some momentum. We need back-to-back wins, that’s a must. It’s going to be a tough game – every match is tough in this league – but we will take the game to them. We’ve been refreshed with Robbo coming in and having his little say. No disrespect to Glyn because he’s a top guy, but Robbo has taken the shackles off in a sense and let us go more attacking-based. I think in the first 30 minutes against Wigan we were brilliant, the lads were really good.

“It was good that we showed that character at Wigan, we showed that we could hang in there, and get the win. The run from Ethan to win the penalty, we seen it from the bench, was just bright play. He’s a great player, he adds energy, and Rudi did his bit as well. All the lads were great at Wigan and we are just looking to build on that.”

The 27-year-old defender is hungry for clean sheets and he believes his leadership qualities can serve Wimbledon well during the run-in.

“Robbo wants more talking and leadership, which I think I bring to a group. Training has been good, the tempo has been high, and long may it continue. I am settled in, I came down here for the football. It was frustrating to be injured, but other than that I’m here to do my job and that’s what I love doing.

“We are just concentrating on ourselves, no matter who you are playing it’s going to be a tough game. We just have to concentrate on what we are going to do in the game and from a personal perspective, as a defender, I want the team to get clean sheets.  Hopefully, I can add something if I get the nod. That is what I came here to do. That’s my aim, so if I can help with that and with my leadership, I will do that. We have to try to play with the fluidity we showed at Wigan and we won’t go far wrong.”

Click on the link below to watch Rob Cornell’s full interview with Ben.

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