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SWINDON TOWN: Benson relishing game time
THE prospect of competitive action will make Swindon Town’s players overcome their physical exhaustion when they take on Bayern Munich II this evening, according to striker Paul Benson.
The Robins have now completed two weeks of seemingly incessant running drills, firstly at their Liddington base back in the UK and then out under the sweltering Italian sun on the banks of Lake Garda, as they prepare for the assault on League One next term.
The exercises manager Paolo Di Canio has put his troops through would be enough to make most men wince, but Benson has insisted that each and every member of the Town squad will find a little extra energy ahead of kick-off in the small village of Aldano tonight.
“It’s a game and you find a bit extra when they come around and fatigue goes out the window for the first 45 minutes anyway,” he said.
“We’ll be ready and let’s make sure we get a good performance first and foremost.
“We’re expecting it to be a bigger test but the important thing is that we put in the same sort of performance as we did last week (in the 9-1 win over a local select XI).
“Maybe we need to start upping a bit from last week but I think the gaffer was pleased with the performance and getting the result last Thursday.
“Performances were good all around the pitch so we’ll be looking to replicate that.”
By his own admission, Benson knows little about the calibre of opposition presented to Swindon in the shape of Bayern’s second-string.
Familiar names in the Germans’ squad include Dale Jennings, formerly of Tranmere, and Bastian Schweinsteiger’s brother Tobias, but by and large the group is a mixture of the brightest, young, up and coming talent.
“I don’t know much about them. Obviously I know about their first team, their senior team, but I don’t know a great deal about the second side,” said Benson.
“We expect a good game.
“Any player who’s connected with a side like Bayern Munich is going to be technically very good and very aware of their position and very organised.
“They’ll have plenty of quality about them.”
Aldano may only be home to a few hundred people, but this evening it will play host to three big names in European football’s recent history.
While Di Canio will occupy one dug-out, a few metres away will stand the Bayern technical team of Mehmet Scholl and Gerd Muller – and Benson said he felt privileged to be in the company of a trio of “greats”.
“They’re legends really,” he said.
“We’ve got the gaffer here who’s going to be on our bench but you look across to theirs and they’re two real stand-out names in world football.
“It will be good to meet them and then pit our wits against their side and the way they play. It’s something we can look forward to and feel honoured to be a part of.”