Variety is the spice of life for Norwich City midfielder Elliott Bennett
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Pre-season does not lend itself to definitive judgements but Norwich City will never be predictable under Neil Adams.
" I like to try and be a happy person and enjoy life anyway but after going through that and coming out the other side it just makes me smile now to be doing what I love."
The Canaries’ spicy 1-1 friendly against SC Bastia in Sallanches on Friday was noticeable for a third different system deployed by the City boss during the early stages of preparation for the Championship opener at Wolves.
Bradley Johnson and Jonny Howson were paired in a defensively-minded midfield unit that was a favourite of Adams’ predecessor.
Norwich have also utilised the diamond, synonymous with their rise through the leagues in recent seasons, and a more traditional midfield designed to unleash the pace and directness of Josh Murphy and Nathan Redmond.
Elliott Bennett has been a fundamental cog in the machine during the games at Dereham and Braintree prior to last week’s Italian training camp and the fit-again 25-year-old believes City’s players will relish such variety.
“The lads have really enjoyed what the gaffer wants from us,” he said. “He is really involved on the training pitch, he doesn’t just want us to play in one shape or one formation but we have to try and be flexible because we will need that this season. He is showing us quite a few different ways of playing and he is drilling it into us that we can’t be predictable. Everyone needs to know our job. I’ve played right-back earlier in my career at Wolves and then at Brighton I was quite central in a midfield three so it is not a problem for me. I just want to play football. As long as I can add something to the team I am happy.”
Bennett’s appetite for work stems from last season’s injury frustrations. Knee ligament surgery following the opening day draw against Everton kept him on the sidelines until a late cameo against Arsenal.
“Playing football is what I love to do, so to just be back out there with the lads is thoroughly enjoyable, but I’m not resting on my laurels,” he said. “I want to be in the first team for the first game of the season and I want to have an impact on what will hopefully be a really successful campaign. I like to try and be a happy person and enjoy life anyway but after going through that and coming out the other side it just makes me smile now to be doing what I love.
“I’m not injured, I’m back out with the lads but I won’t be taking anything for granted just because I’m outside with the rest of the boys now. I want to be in the first team, I want to have an impact this season and I want to be the man who helps Norwich get promoted. I will do all I can to make that happen.”
City’s televised opening weekend trip to his former club Wolves will be a family affair.
“It’ll be very special, I’ve already asked the lads for tickets and hopefully I can get a lot of my family there and we can get the job done and get off to a flying start,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to going back, hopefully we’ll put in a positive performance and come back with all three points, which is obviously the main thing.”