Bennett’s won over fans but must step up again

Pompey winger Kyle Bennett Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey winger Kyle Bennett Picture: Joe Pepler
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He was involved in over a quarter of Pompey’s goals last season.

Yet Kyle Bennett did not get the recognition he deserved until his absence through injury.

Then it was clear his creative spark was crucial to the Blues.

It’s countless the amount of times I’ve heard fans around me at home and away games dish out the dirt towards Bennett.

‘He’s useless’ was slanted in his direction on one occasion from a disgruntled supporter, despite the fact the attacking midfielder was the only player looking for a defence-splitting pass all game.

If you try something, but fail to succeed, it does not make you a poor player.

In fact, quite the opposite. I’d be more dubious about those players who went into hiding during games.

However, I feel now that Bennett is unanimously appreciated by the Pompey faithful.

No we all know of his shining ability.

Next season the attitude towards the former Doncaster Rovers man will improve, he will be given ‘permission’ to be creative.

And I’d urge Bennett to step up his game even more.

If this following season is going to be what we need it to be, then Bennett will play a central role in that.

He must make more runs, take on defenders more frequently and take more shots on goal – even if they fail to come off.

High expectations for a player who has had at times the weight of Fratton Park on his shoulders.

But I think he can become an even more accomplished player – he’s got the talent and potential to do so.

It’s sensible to expect more from this gifted player.

Pompey will return to the upper echelons of the footballing ladder with players like Bennett.

Intelligent footballers, who can open doors with the flick of a switch, who can turn games on their head in an instant.

Blues fans must recognise this fact – don’t disapprove talent when you see it – because we may be in danger of putting off the likes of Bennett signing for Pompey in the future.

I hope one of Paul Cook’s priorities this summer is to offer Kyle and extension to his contract which has a year remaining on it.

Show him we value him before another club does.

Cook has also said he may play 4-4-2 next season.

If that’s in a diamond form, then why not play Bennett at the top of that diamond?

A central role will increase his influence in the areas he is most dangerous – on the edge of the box.

We already have the creative maestro many fans may crave we sign in this window.

I expect this could be a season where we really do see what a exciting talent Bennett really is.