STRIKER Paul Benson is eager to make up for lost time after returning to the Swindon Town squad following an injury.

The forward performed well throughout pre-season, started Town’s opening two competitive games, and scored the first against Brighton before dropping to the bench for the visit of Crawley.

The 32-year-old was not involved against MK Dons or Stoke after picking up a minor injury, and during his time on the sidelines new signings Andy Williams and James Collins staked their claim for the regular striking spots with some excellent displays.

But Benson was back on the bench for Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at Preston, and the striker is now pushing for a start against Oxford this evening.

“It is great to be back, because the injury I had was one of those ones where I could have been out for a lot longer had I tried to carry on and play on it,” he said.

“We managed to sort it early and I have had a good amount of physio on it now, so hopefully now it will not bother me anymore.

“It is never good to be injured at any time really, but especially after getting through a whole pre-season without missing a single session, even at the age of 32.

“I played all the games and started off well, scored a goal against Brighton, and then picked up an injury and you are set back a few weeks, which is very frustrating.

“I am trying to get back into the team now, and all I want is my place back.”

Town boss Paolo Di Canio bolstered his squad with the additions of attacking players John Bostock and Adam Rooney, and Benson is glad to see the Italian has so many options going forward.

“Competition keeps you on your toes and keeps you striving to keep your place, and when you have people like John Bostock and Adam Rooney coming in the door it pushes you on,” he said.

“Even at 32 I can still learn things off younger players like them, and they are top quality players who will benefit my game.

“When I looked at the bench at Preston it struck me how strong it was, and that will help all season long because the gaffer has so many options available to him.

“I don’t want to be on the bench, but if you are battling to win leagues it is a squad game, and I will be patient, but I want to be back in the team.”