Cambridge United Player of the Month Ryan Bennett calls on his teammates to take ‘responsibility’ in the fight for Sky Bet League One’s survival

Having played in all of England’s top four leagues, there is very little Ryan Bennett hasn’t seen.

He has been part of the promotion-winning teams, those that qualify for European football. He also experienced the disappointment and pain of going down.

The prospect of demotion is something Cambridge United fans are currently saddled with, especially after last night’s 1-1 draw with fellow strugglers Morecambe left them four points from safety in Sky Bet League One.

Ryan Bennett with the Cambridge Player of the Month award.  Photo: Keith Hebel
Ryan Bennett with the Cambridge Player of the Month award. Photo: Keith Hebel

Adding in January, Bennett exited the Premier League twice with Norwich City and once from the Championship in his time with Peterborough United.

But while every team’s situation is different, Love Cambridge’s Player of the Month for February – voted by supporters – is clear on what needs to be done if the U are to give themselves the best chance of getting out of trouble.

“It’s been very difficult. When you’re in these situations things seem to go against you. Some people will look at it and make excuses, but that’s the way it is,” the former Wolverhampton Wanderers defender, who turned 33, said on Monday.

The defender urges his teammates to endure
The defender urges his teammates to take “responsibility”. Photo: Simon Lancaster

“You can look at the injuries the club had and then the players came in during January and there have been injuries since then as well. There have been problems, especially up front with injuries.

“It gets to a point where you can’t keep saying you’re unlucky if it happens a lot. It’s one of those things where players need to get better and take more responsibility.

“It’s a tough game for the manager because if you look at the games, in some of those we’ve created good chances, we look very strong and we played well. He must be thinking ‘what do I change?’ As players, it’s up to us to take our chances and make the most of our chances. areas we enter.

“When you have a long streak of bad results, you can’t say it’s bad luck or anything like that because the league position doesn’t lie more than 46 games.

The defender joined Yu in January on a deal until the end of the season.  Photo: Simon Lancaster
The defender joined Yu in January on a deal until the end of the season. Photo: Simon Lancaster

“You end up where you deserve, I’ve always believed that. If you get results, you stay up, if you don’t get them, you stay down. Over the course of a long season, the league table doesn’t lie.

“At Norwich we were relegated after being in the same situation but obviously that was a different level so it’s hard to compare it exactly.

“But there will always be games you can go back to and wish you had done things differently. It’s hard, but every season and every team is different – ​​there is no one situation.

“The only way we can overcome it is by staying positive. We can’t change anything that happened in the past, all we can do is influence the future. We have to stick together, keep producing opportunities, take advantage of some of them and work hard to sweep them away at the other end.

“If we do, we’re maybe two or three weeks down the line and those moments will be behind us and we can start looking forward.”

One aspect that has pleased Bennett since joining the club at the turn of the year has been the positivity within the group.

Despite a run of form that has United fighting for third place, the group is working hard to remain optimistic.

He added: “When you’re a little older than I am now, you have to put your experiences and talk to different players.

“We talk about things every day in the dressing room and on the training ground.

“But it’s a very positive group and the manager does a good job of keeping things positive.

“There weren’t many times when the group was so disappointed.

“Obviously there are certain things that happen in matches that affect you as players, but it’s important to keep your calm.

“There are players in this team – like myself – who have experiences in different situations and that can be important.

“I feel like I have a role to play, but there is also an individual element and the players have to take responsibility.”

The center back is also satisfied with how he plays in the back three.

Bennett signed as he had not played since the end of the previous season after being released by Swansea City in September, however he managed to rush in at the right time.

“It wasn’t too bad. I had two weeks where I could train because there were some games canceled when I arrived.”

“I was able to get in a few extra sessions that I didn’t think I’d get at the time.

“There are times when it’s been more difficult than others. We’ve had a tough couple of weeks where we’ve been traveling, playing on Saturdays and Tuesdays and Saturdays and Tuesdays and when you haven’t done it for a year or so it gets tough. Overall I found it okay and physically I don’t feel bad.”

Cambridge United have teamed up with Cambridge BID to give supporters the chance to vote for Love Cambridge’s Player of the Month, supported by the Cambridge Independent. Sponsors Love Cambridge is part of Cambridge BID, a collaboration of 1,200 businesses working together to promote and improve the city of Cambridge..

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