Brighton & Hove Albion defender Joe Bennett went to Stamford Bridge to watch the recent Chelsea v Paris St Germain Champions League last-16 tie and revealed how such games help his own fledgling career.
He told Seagull, the club’s official matchday programme, “I was fortunate to get a couple of tickets, and it was a great game to watch.
"PSG were excellent as a unit and Thiago Silva is right up there as one of the best in the world. Whenever I go to watch a live game, or even on the TV, I am always looking at how the left-back plays and how the defence operates as a unit, and take what I can on board.
"I’m only 24 and obviously still learning the game, so it was great for me to watch the game live the other night and see two very good teams playing at the highest level.”
“PSG played some fantastic football and even when they went down to ten men they were so calm in possession of the ball and still managed to create some good chances. Chelsea didn’t play that badly, it was just that PSG played well under pressure. They kept their shape and were solid despite being a man down and when the chances came their way, they took them.”
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Closer to home, Bennett is also benefiting from having Chris Hughton as manager – a top-class full-back in his day with Tottenham and the Republic of Ireland.
“Obviously it’s good for me on a personal level having a former defender as manager. He knows his stuff and is there to give me plenty of advice, especially in the left-back role. Since the gaffer came in he’s been working hard on defensive shape and being more compact as a team.
“Our formation has changed as a result and it’s more a flat-back four we now play. We’re not pushing up as full-backs like we did under Sami [Hyypia]. I’ve got a more defensive role now but I’m really enjoying my football under Chris. I feel I’m learning all the time.”
The full interview with Joe can be found in Wolverhampton Wanderers issue of Seagull, still available in the Amex Superstore, priced £3.50, or available to purchase online atseagullsdirect.co.uk