Dagenham & Redbridge striker Paul Benson chasing first league start in three months at York City
PUBLISHED: 14:30 18 November 2016
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Daggers forward says he is feeling better with each game he plays after injury
Paul Benson says he is still playing his way back to full fitness for Dagenham & Redbridge as he chases a first National League start in over three months at York City on Saturday.
Benson spent six weeks on the sidelines until the end of October after picking up a side injury in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Southend United in September.
The evergreen attacker made his first start since August 16 at Halifax Town on Tuesday night, and says he is getting sharper with every game.
“It was tough on Tuesday, but I have to try and build my fitness up,” said the 37-year-old.
“We have some Tuesday games coming up, so it’s hard to get development games in and get the minutes in.
“The more I play, the sharper I’ll get and the fitter I’ll get. I’ll start to feel better with every game I play.”
Benson’s return to action has come at a good time for Daggers, who are likely to be without six first-team players for the trip to York, while others remain doubtful.
The squad was so stretched on Tuesday night at Halifax that, other than keeper Elliot Justham the bench comprised of academy players.
Things should not be as bad at York on Saturday, with Andre Boucaud back from international duty and Scott Heard and Shomari Barnwell having been cup-tied.
But Benson says the squad cannot use the shortage of players as a reason for their recent stuttering form, with just one win in their last six games in all competitions.
“It doesn’t help having injuries and we have a number of them, but you don’t want to start making excuses,” he added.
“We have players who are more than good enough to come in and play.
“In any team, injuries are going to hinder you and we’re losing good players who have done well this season, but the players out there at Halifax were more than good enough to get the result and for some 60 minutes, we weren’t quite good enough.
“We need to get better, go to York on Saturday and put in the same shift we did for the last 30 minutes at Halifax of the game over 90 minutes.”