Fast approaching a century of league appearances at The New Lawn, Dale Bennett is desperate to help Forest Green Rovers into the Football League.

The former Watford defender is three away games away from a hundred league appearances for Rovers – three years after joining the club from the Hornets.

He’s had to battle through injuries at times in Gloucestershire, but the 26 year old is eager to see FGR do well, starting with a big game against Grimsby at The New Lawn on Friday night.

“I feel everyone knows the nature of the game, anyone we play, especially at home. We always train hard anyway, but if we do prepare right and get everything right on the day we should be fine,” he said.

“We all know it’s a big game and what is at stake. Everyone knows how tight it is at the top so we want to get as many points as we can.

“I don’t think anyone is as keen as us to get promoted because we’ve been up there the last couple of years. We know what this club is building towards.

“We know when we play big teams that we do turn up. Hopefully tomorrow we get what we need and what we deserve.”

Apart from the ankle injury he picked up in the FA Cup second round at Oxford United, which ruled him out for a few weeks, Bennett has been an ever present this season.

His fine performances at the back have seen him mostly fill in at right back, while he also began the season in a central defensive role.

He’s popular with the club’s supporters for his gut busting performances up and down the right hand side. It’s a position that sees him form a crucial part of Ady Pennock’s starting XI.

“It has been up and down for me in my time here – I have had quite a few injuries which I’ve hopefully overcome now,” he continued.

“I feel that I am one of the longest serving so obviously people do come to me with certain things.

“But I wouldn’t say people look up to me, I feel people know what they’re going to get out of me when I do step on the pitch.”

The Mariners will provide one of the team’s toughest examinations on Friday in front of the BT Sport cameras.

Bennett is more than prepared for the clash and admits he doesn’t fear any opponent he comes up against at this level.

“It was something I used to think about but I feel that if you are prepared yourself mentally and physically then it doesn’t matter who you come up against.

“If you get the better of them then you’re going to do well anyway so that’s how I look at it now.

“It has been an exciting season for us and it’s going to be an exciting close. Hopefully we get what we want and what we need to push forward.”


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