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Cheltenham Town video: Bennett hoping Robins will peak at the perfect moment

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 16, 2012

Alan Bennett

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ALAN Bennett believes Cheltenham Town are on course to peak at the perfect time this season.

The central defender has not tasted defeat in a League Two match since the trip to Rotherham United last April.

Ahead of tomorrow's first visit to the Millers' New York Stadium, Bennett is confident Cheltenham are still working their way to top form and he is hopeful they can avoid a repeat of last season's March collapse which cost them automatic promotion.

"I still think there is more to come from us," Bennett said.

"We've done it in spells, but we still need to click at both ends for sustained periods and I feel we are still getting towards our peak.

"We don't want that to come too early."

One of the men Bennett and central defensive partner Steve Elliott will have to shackle tomorrow is former Robins striker Kayode Odejayi.

The Nigerian-born powerhouse has only scored twice since his summer move from Colchester to Rotherham, but Bennett knows all about his threat from a previous encounter.

"I played against him when he was at Barnsley and I was on loan at Southampton from Reading and we drew (2-2) that day," he said.

"I just remember him being absolutely massive, but I don't mind that and it's a different kind of challenge."

With Bennett and Elliott in miserly mood and goalkeeper Scott Brown in top form behind them, Cheltenham have not conceded a League Two goal in 330 minutes, with a clean sheet in the FA Cup against Yate also part of an impressive run of defensive solidity.

They sit joint top of the clean sheet table with Gillingham, both clubs having kept eight shut outs in 17 matches.

Elliott recently described Bennett as the top defensive partner he has played alongside in his career and the Irishman was keen to return the compliment ahead of one of the toughest trips of the campaign.

"Steve is our leader at the back and when I see him winning big headers I don't want to let him down," Bennett said.

"I want to make sure I get there too and when he steps up, I'll slot in straight behind him.

"His attitude at the age of 34 is exemplary and he is still buzzing to go and work, nothing ever seems to get him down. He's definitely one of best players I've played with."

With a draw at leaders Gillingham and a home win over Burton Albion lifting Cheltenham level on points with second placed Port Vale, Bennett admitted a point would represent a positive result at Rotherham, who have won six of their eight home fixtures this term.

"Heading into this run of three games I'd have taken five points and we have four from the first two," Bennett said.

"We're in good form, but they are strong at home so we have to keep our performance levels high and hopefully get a result, but if I was offered a draw now I'd probably take it."

Bennett hit the bar with header from Billy Jones' corner early in the 1-0 win over Burton last Saturday and he has also seen efforts cleared off the line and others well saved in recent weeks as he attempts to open his scoring account for the season.

"I am desperate for a goal and to get off the mark this season, but if you offered me 1-0 wins every week and me not scoring, I'd definitely take that," he said.

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