Benson is relieved to contribute once more

Paul Benson
Paul Benson

Hatters striker Paul Benson is relieved to finally be able to contribute to his side’s performances on the pitch after recovering from a lengthy neck injury.

The 36-year-old had missed 14 games after suffering the problem until a cameo from the bench at Crawley Town in the FA Cup last week.

“It’s nice to get over the injury and get back playing, get back trying to contribute and helping the team.”

Paul Benson

He was in from the start at the weekend for the first time since August 22, playing 78 minutes as Luton saw off Barnet 2-0.

Speaking afterwards, Benson said: “It was brilliant and that’s why you play the game.

“It’s been so frustrating watching as you always feel you can contribute.

“When you’re not to be able to do that, you feel as though you’re letting your team-mates down and your manager down.

“It’s nice to get over the injury and get back playing, get back trying to contribute and helping the team.

“Being injured, there’s nothing you can do about where on the body the injury is, you’ve just got to try and get over it.

“The physios have been brilliant and Daz (Cook), the masseur has been brilliant with me, trying to get me right and hopefully I’m on the way back and over the worst of it.

“I think he (John Still) probably expected an hour, I probably expected 45 minutes, so to get what I did was good.”

On the game itself, in which Hatters triumphed thanks to goals from Danny Green and Cameron McGeehan, Benson continued: “It’s nice to get a win and I thought we started the game really brightly, which having watched the games while I’ve been out, I don’t think it’s something we’ve done too well.

“We set our stall out this time and played some nice football.”

There was more than a hint of frustration in Benson’s voice though about the start of the second period as Luton couldn’t get going for a good 15-20 minutes.

He said: “The only disappointment was second half, I didn’t think we came out as well as we did first half which was disappointing.

“I felt they had the upper hand right from the kick off up until we scored, they had a good 20-odd minute spell where they looked the better team.

“We couldn’t really string a succession of passes together and they looked like the only 
team that were going to come back into it and score.

“To get that goal on the break was fantastic, and then from then on, you feel that’s taken the wind out of their sails a bit.

“Saying that, well played to the team for digging in when we had our backs against the wall in the first 20 minutes in the second half.

“Because we could have quite easily gone the other and they got the goal and then we would have seen a different game.”

Winger Green felt Barnet deserved some credit for their improved start after the interval, adding: “They’re probably going to have got a rollicking at half time as we passed it round really well and they didn’t really create anything.

“So Martin Allen (Barnet boss) is going to get them out and raring to go.

“We knew that, expected that and didn’t really have any troubles as I don’t think Tyles (Mark Tyler) had anything to deal with really.

“We dealt with it well and we broke on them and scored the second one.

“I think we could have had a few more as well. Smudger’s had a couple of chances, I thought he played really well and feels like he probably should score.”