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Striker Paul Benson said he would do anything for ‘his’ Dagenham & Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 13:30 31 March 2017

Paul Benson applauds the Dagenham & Redbridge support after a home win (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Paul Benson applauds the Dagenham & Redbridge support after a home win (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Daggers legend says bench role has been tough, but happy to do it if it helps ‘the club he loves’

Oliver Hawkins' form for Dagenham & Redbridge has restricted Paul Benson to a bench role for much of the season (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)Oliver Hawkins' form for Dagenham & Redbridge has restricted Paul Benson to a bench role for much of the season (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo)

Dagenham & Redbridge forward Paul Benson admits it has been hard spending much of the National League season on the bench, but says he’s happy to do anything to help the Essex club.

The 37-year-old started his first game in almost four months on Saturday, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 win at home to York City in the league.

Benson, who has only one goal to his name this term, will hope to retain his starting berth to face Eastleigh at home this weekend, but faces competition from the fit-again Oliver Hawkins.

The form of Hawkins, who has 18 league goals, has kept Benson on the bench for much of the term, but the Daggers icon says he has full faith in manager John Still’s role for him.

“It’s been tough being on the bench, but you’re here to do a job, that’s what I came back for,” said the former Luton Town man.

“If the job is more off the pitch this season than on it, then that’s what I’m here to do.

“I trust the gaffer to make the right decisions and if you look at the league table, you’d say more often that not he’s made the right decisions.

“This is my club, I love it and I’d do anything to help make it successful.”

Benson will surely have a big part to play over the next few days, with Daggers set to visit leaders Lincoln City on Monday night after hosting Eastleigh tomorrow (Saturday).

While the threat of Lincoln has been well documented this term, Eastleigh have started to pick up form again under new manager Richard Hill.

And Benson knows both games will be difficult for Daggers as they look to shore up their place in the play-offs.

“If you’d ask the gaffer, he’d say the same thing as me: at this stage in the season, every game is tough,” he added.

“The trip to Lincoln will be a tough game and Eastleigh have a good squad; they may not have lived up to their potential, but they’ll still be willing to give us a game.”

With just seven games to go in the season, a player with Benson’s experience may be crucial for Daggers as they look to return to the Football League at the first attempt.

And the evergreen attacker is aware how important it is just to pick up points by any means possible at this stage.

“Having been in this position a few times in my career, you don’t want to say that performances are secondary, but it is all about getting points,” he said.

“At this stage in the season, you’ll go across the country and there’ll be so many teams in our situation having to grind out results.”


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