Luton v Pompey: Kyle Bennett launches respect campaign

Kyle Bennett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kyle Bennett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey new boy Dion Donohue Picture: Colin Farmery

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POMPEY have been warned Luton Town deserve their respect.

And Kyle Bennett goes into tomorrow’s trip to Kenilworth Road expecting the Hatters to fight fire with fire against Paul Cook’s side.

If we have a positive mindset, prepare properly and don’t disrespect the opposition or any game we’ll be fine.

Kyle Bennett

The Blues’ trip to Crawley last week saw the home side on the defensive for 90 minutes as they celebrated picking up a point.

But Bennett believes his team will be taking on a side with more ambition in the outfit who have been tipped to be promotion contenders this season.

Pompey will be looking to get back to winning ways after last weekend’s 3-3 draw against Morecambe and midweek Capital One Cup loss to Reading.

Bennett felt the Shrimps clash saw his team ‘disrespect’ their opponents as they fell three goals behind in 38 minutes.

He told them there is no room for that approach against a side with the firepower to punish them.

Bennett said: ‘They’ve not started brilliantly but have some good players and Mackail-Smith is a proven goalscorer.

‘But it’s all about what we do. Against Morecambe last Saturday we disrespected the game a bit. That’s my take on it.

‘So it’s all about what we do, how we prepare and our mindsets going into it.

‘If we have a positive mindset, prepare properly and don’t disrespect the opposition or any game we’ll be fine.’

Despite their pre-season billing as title contenders it’s been a stuttering start from Luton, who have yet to register a league win.

They showed they can punch their weight with Premier League opposition, however, after taking Stoke City to penalties before bowing out of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.

Bennett is fully expecting John Still’s side to show similar attacking intent tomorrow.

He said: ‘They’ve been tipped to be up there at the start of the season.

‘So I’m sure they’ll come out and have a go.

‘That could benefit us and give more spaces for the likes of Gary (Roberts) to use.

‘Hopefully they have a go and it’s a decent game.’

Luton are seen as promotion contenders but it’s Pompey who remain favourites for the League Two title.

Their encouraging start to the campaign has gone some way to matching that billing.

Rival managers have also been tipping Cook’s side to storm to success.

But the Blues boss has been quick to air his view that it is ridiculous at such a formative stage of the season – a sentiment echoed by Bennett.

He said: ‘People like to pass the buck and put the pressure on everyone else.

‘It’s a defensive mechanism for other managers but we don’t mind.

‘If that’s how everyone wants to see us then so be it.

‘We are a big club in this league and sides will always want to get one over 
us.

‘We’re favourites even if I’m not sure how people know that at the start of the season.

‘The players have been brought in to deal with the pressure because the expectation is here.’