Bennett confident despite injury crisis for Exeter City
SCOT Bennett says he is confident Exeter City still have the players available to push for an automatic promotion place in League Two despite the club suffering from an injury crisis in the centre of midfield.
With Alan Gow and Liam Sercombe already ruled out for the season, City were dealt a blow towards the end of last week when it was revealed Tommy Doherty had been sidelined for around four weeks with a back injury.
And that news was further compounded on Tuesday night when Doherty's partner in central midfield for the past two months, Matt Oakley, dislocated his shoulder in Exeter City's 0-0 draw at home to Gillingham.
Bennett, who has been almost an ever-present in a defensive midfield role for City this season, said that losing those two players is a massive blow to the club, but added that they had replacements that could fill the gaps.
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"It massive is a loss to lose those players," said Bennett.
"Tommy Doc was our best player before he got injured and Matty had been one of our best players and now he has got injured as well.
"But Mark Molesley came in and did well (against Gillingham) and Jimmy Keohane, who came in when Matty went off, also did well.
"So we have got players who can fill the gaps and hopefully they can get the confidence to come in and we keep going forward like we have been."
Exeter City welcome Capital One Cup finalists Bradford City to St James's Park on Saturday.
The Bantams have beaten the likes of Arsenal, Wigan and Aston Villa this season, but their promotion hopes from League Two are hanging by a thread following a run of just two victories from 13 games. They are currently nine points off play-offs positions with two games in hand on Exeter City in seventh.
Bennett says he hasn't really been concentrating on other teams' positions in the league recently, but looking at the table Saturday did represent a good opportunity for the Grecians to open up gap between them and the faltering West Yorkshire side.
"I haven't really been looking at Bradford, we have just been concentrating on ourselves," he said.
"But it is massive thing for us to get the three points and open the gap up so we can hopefully secure a safety spot in the play-offs and then keep pushing for the automatics."
Exeter currently find themselves just four points off third-placed Port Vale in the chase for an automatic promotion spot.
And, having played superbly against league leaders Gillingham for the first half of Tuesday night's match at St James's Park, Bennett feels that if Exeter can repeat that form over the last eight games it will put them in with a great chance of getting there.
"I think our football tonight (Tuesday) was brilliant," said Bennett. "We outplayed them in the first half.
"In the second half they changed their shape and sat a bit deeper so it was harder to get on the ball and play, but we tried to play up to Curo (Jamie Cureton) and get onto the second ball so we could put pressure on their back four.
"It gives us massive confidence (to play that well against Gillingham), because it means we know we can go on and play the football that we know we can play against anyone.
"We've being trying to play that football all season, but first half against Gillingham it all came together.
"The midfield players were working well off each other, the strikers were getting in and the back four was nice and tight.
"I think if we can perform like we did against Gillingham in the rest of the games this season then, we should be in good stead."