Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says Joe Bennett is in first-team contention
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert admits that Joe Bennett has played himself back into first-team contention.
Last Updated: 23/03/14 3:07pm
Bennett has overcome injury and battled hard with Antonio Luna and on-loan Ryan Betrand to get a chance in recent weeks.
He played a starring role in their 1-0 win over Chelsea last time out and Lambert admits it will be hard to leave him out against Stoke this weekend.
"He's had a hard time but that performance [against Chelsea] was excellent," Lambert told the Birmingham Mail.
"I never really waver when a lad goes on to the pitch.
"If they are out there I believe they'll go and do the job and try their utmost, so I trust them to go and do their best.
"He was outstanding. It was his first game there for months and months and I thought he was absolutely terrific for us.
"He made a brilliant tackle in the first half when the ball got whipped across the six-yard line and he cleared it.
"He was up against a guy that cost millions and it was a mammoth performance from Joe."