Returning Wigan Athletic star aiming to nail down spot
Joe Bennett ended almost nine months of frustration by making his Wigan Athletic debut at Accrington - then challenged himself to stay in the side.
The 31-year-old defender played for three-quarters of Tuesday night's Papa John's Trophy clash at Accrington.
It marked the end of a long injury nightmare, which began with an ankle problem during the latter stages of his time at Cardiff, before a couple of calf niggles prevented him hitting the ground running at Wigan.
But having reported no after-effects, Bennett is hoping to make up for lost time with the gruelling festive period on its way.
"I’m just happy to get through," he said. “I’m happy to get some minutes and I’m really thankful for the manager and the staff for bringing me in.
"Coming in with a long-term injury is not easy, it’s been a long road, but I’m just so happy to be back out on the pitch.
“I’ve been dying to play games and it’s a good group as well.
"We’ve got a lot of good players here so I have to do well to try and get in the team.
"It’s not a given that I’m going to play so I want to try and do well in training, see if I can get in the team, and see if I can stay there.”
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