PAUL Benson may have been in and out of the Swindon Town side recently, but with the benefit of experience the striker knows not to take it personally.
The 32-year-old, signed from Charlton in January, started and scored against Burnley in midweek having sat on the bench for the wins over Portsmouth and Bournemouth - but it has not all been plain sailing for the man who registered 12 times in his first five months in Wiltshire last season.
Benson has made seven appearances in all this term, five of which have come from the start, as he battles with James Collins and Adam Rooney for a place in manager Paolo Di Canio’s first XI.
While the frontman admitted his frustration at being unable to get into a goalscoring rhythm up front, he stressed that in football tactics and strategy can dictate whether or not a player is involved on a regular basis, no matter how well he is playing.
When asked whether being in and out of the side was a result of Di Canio’s various gameplans, Benson told the Advertiser: “I think so. As far as I know he hasn’t got a problem with me, he hasn’t said he’s got any problem with me, so I just need to take my chance when I get it.
“It is frustrating, I would like to be playing every week but I do look at the squad, I look at the players who are here and I see people like James Collins, who’s a tremendous player, and you’ve got Adam Rooney now who came on on Saturday and scored and is looking very good and obviously Willo (Andy Williams).
“Willo’s a given to start pretty much every game now because of the performances he’s put in so I need to just be ready when I’m called upon.
“I hope that the gaffer sees that, when he does call on me, he can trust me to put in a performance that he’s after.
“It’s tough to find a rhythm when you’re in for one game and out for two. I didn’t even come off the bench for the last two games (prior to the win against Burnley) so it’s tough to find a rhythm.
“As a forward, if you get one goal you generally try to get two or three because the confidence is there.
“I’m old enough to realise that football is a squad game and the gaffer’s not leaving me out because he doesn’t like me or because he’s got a problem with me, he’s leaving me out because he feels he’s picking a side that’s good enough to win Swindon a football game.
“With the benefit of my age, being 32 now, I can see where he’s coming from and I’m not going to kick up too much of a fuss because it’s a great squad we’ve got here.”