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Dean previews Eastleigh home clash and talks about Bennett arrival

3 March 2023


Dean previews Eastleigh home clash and talks about Bennett arrival

3 March 2023

Iron first team manager Jimmy Dean has provided an update on the squad ahead of Saturday's home game against Eastleigh in the Vanarama National League (3pm kick-off).

The boss started by talking about striker Richie Bennett, the Iron’s latest signing, by saying: “It’s the profile that I’ve been after since I came to the club. I think the players coming in are really going to improve us and Richie Bennett does that."

He added: “He’s fit, he’s had minutes, and obviously Barrow are going well. I think he could have gone to a League Two side in January, but they kept him around, and now it’s got to the stage where he wants to play football. He sees the situation of the club and he has the chance to be a hero now and make a difference to a lot of people's lives. He’s really up for it. I spoke to him about the fans and the ground and he said it was always a difficult place to go (as an opposition player)."

Jimmy then went on to talk about what he expects Bennett to bring to the team, adding: “He’s a good player with his back to goal. He can link the ball up, he’s a big guy, he can play football, and when it goes in it won’t come back. He gives us that option to go short, if they’re on top of us then we can go into his feet and play off of him, and he’s an aerial threat from crosses. The guy’s got a lot of guile, he’s clever with his touches, and I’m really excited to get him in."

On Tuesday night, the Iron drew 1-1 away at Maidstone United, and the gaffer spoke about how the feeling in the camp has been since. He added: “It’s been positive and Richie has brightened the place up a bit. I feel like we’re well set to go and do something on Saturday. It’s going to be good being back here (at Glanford Park) and it’s going to be good having a couple of games in front of our people again. We’re running out of matches though and we need to get results.”

On Saturday's fixture, the boss said: “I looked at the fixtures a few weeks ago and said if we get through the first four, then we’ll have Maidstone, Eastleigh, and Altrincham, who at the time were all out of form. Eastleigh are now top of the form chart with Wrexham. It’s a game of football though and we have to try and do what they’re doing and get that bounce now. We want it to start on Saturday. Two or three wins can change everything and that’s the mindset we need to keep having.” 

He also spoke about the importance of returning to Glanford Park, saying: “It’s massive. Richie Bennett said the same as he walked through the door. We need them, we can’t do it without them, and the home form could be what defines us this season. We need the backing, we need the support, and we need them to stick with us and that’s all I’ve felt since I’ve come in. People are happy that the club is sorted out, but they want us to succeed, and they want us to set ourselves up so we can have a better season next year."

Jimmy then provided an injury update, adding: “There are a couple struggling after Tuesday, one sat out of training on Thursday, and there’s another who should have sat out of training on Thursday. They’re precautionary and I expect that we should be alright come Saturday.” 

He said: "We’ve got depth to the squad and we’re going to try and use it. In terms of performances, we’ve competed in every game. We were up and down against Maidstone, but I thought we were the better team, with a lot more chances and efforts on and off target.” 

He finished: “We want a performance and we want a result. We want to use the momentum that the crowd gives us and use it to build momentum in the league. That’s the target.”

See more from Jimmy Dean, Will Smith and Richie Bennett on Iron Player.

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