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Interviews

Pre Fleetwood | Elliott Bennett

14 October 2022

Elliott Bennett spoke to the press for the first time this season as he looked ahead to tomorrow's game with Fleetwood Town.

The 33-year-old Salopian is enjoying a run in Steve Cotterill's starting 11 following his return from a frustrating ankle injury that had kept him out of the squad until mid-September.

The versatile right-wing-back, who can also play anywhere across the midfield and defence, played 48 games for Shrewsbury last season and was a crucial part of starting line-up week in, week out until his injury in April.

Elliott discussed his injury for the first time, what it took to get fit again and how it feels to be back in the side after such a long time out.

ON HOW HE IS FEELING:

"Yes, really good. It's disappointing to be injured and miss any part of the season.
 
"I really enjoyed my season last year. I managed to play most of the games but not having my ankle sorted over the summer was frustrating more than anything because all the signs were that we didn't need any intervention and in the end we did.
 
"It is behind me now and I am feeling great, I am looking forward to trying to help the team in any way I can."
 
ON HOW HE HAS COPED MENTALLY:
 
"It is tricky when you are in the moment. We have got a really good group of lads in the dressing room. Everyone kept my spirits up and I'm quite a positive person anyway so I was trying to work hard knowing that eventually, I will get the chance to be back out on the grass. It was just making sure my body was ready to take the demands the gaffer puts on us."
 
ON HIS TWO STARTS:
 
"I have enjoyed it. I enjoyed Saturday more than the week before - you always do when you win a game - but it's great to be back involved and hopefully, I can stay fit and available for the manager to pick me when he chooses.
 
ON THE WORK HE HAS PUT IN TO RECOVER:
 
"A lot of work in the gym with the physios and Chris Walley (the first team fitness coach) just making sure we took the time that we needed from the surgeon but also pushing when we could.
 
"I feel really good. I have done a lot of running on my own which is not as hard as pre-season because the gaffer's pre-season is very hard! But it is hard doing it on your own, doing those same runs but without the support of the lads doing it with you. It is tough.
 
"But the end goal is to play football and be available as much as I can. I am just happy to be back and available."
 
ON WATCHING OTHERS TRAIN AND PLAY:
 
"I wouldn't say it's frustrating. It's more of a burn inside you. Ever since I was a kid, all I have wanted to do is play football and when that gets taken away from you, it's hard to be in the gym and watch the lads get a sweat on.
 
"It was a little bit easier watching them when they were running in the heat of Spain! It is great to be back and I hopefully touch wood, I can stay fit this season."
 
ON HIS ANKLE:
 
"My ankle feels really good. It's hard catching up and getting back up to speed but I did a lot of work in the gym. I did a lot of work back out on the grass before I was back available for the manager and I feel like it's paying off."
 
ON GETTING BACK TO FULL FITNESS:
 
"I am lucky enough to have played quite a few games in my career and you know once the competitive games start, you are judged from the moment the whistle goes.
 
"I have worked in training and when I was out injured. If the manager is watching the game if he sees that I'm looking tired - thankfully this season we have got a lot of strength in depth - he will take me off if he feels I am not doing it.
 
"That is the best way to be. From the word go, I will put myself out there and last as long as I can."
 
ON PRAISE FROM PLAYERS FOR HIS ATTITUDE WHEN INJURED:
 
"I always try to be positive. How lucky are we to get to do this? A lot of young people dream of being a footballer but we are living that dream. It is cliche, it's cheesy a little bit but it's true. It is an amazing job to have. I enjoy coming to work every day.
 
"It is disappointing when you lose but you can't change the past, you have to look forward and I feel like being negative and moping around the place does not make things any better. If you can come in with a smile on your face, it's a good day."
 
ON HIS TEAMMATES:
 
"[I faced] a lot of banter! I had a lot of mickey taken out of me from the lads and the gaffer when I was sat on the bike. People kept asking if I'm practising for the Tour De France and saying I don't look like a footballer, I look like a cyclist. But that's all good because it keeps you going and it makes you feel part of the group when you are not out there training."

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