Bennett: Pompey need to pass physical Bees test

Kyle Bennett was recalled to the Pompey starting XI for last Saturdays trip to Accrington Picturer: Joe Pepler

Kyle Bennett was recalled to the Pompey starting XI for last Saturdays trip to Accrington Picturer: Joe Pepler

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POMPEY have been challenged to pass the physical test presented by Barnet.

And Kyle Bennett has demanded his team put right the Accrington disappointment, after failing a similar examination of their credentials at the Crown Ground.

Bennett felt Paul Cook’s side didn’t contend with the strength of John Coleman’s men last weekend, as their four-game winning run came to an end.

They will undoubtedly face more of the same tomorrow as Barnet arrive at Fratton Park.

Martin Allen’s men have lost only a single league game so far this season, and have shown steady, if unspectacular, form as they arrive on the south coast 14th in the League Two standings.

Memories of last season’s trip to the Hive will certainly be to the fore ahead of the game.

On that occasion, Cook’s men failed to deal with the physical and direct approach employed by the Bees as they fell to a 1-0 loss.

It’s unlikely Allen’s side will deviate too far from that approach after seeing it enjoy previous success against Cook’s men.

Bennett knows the test is to answer the sides who try to knock the Blues out of their stride by trying to outmuscle them.

He said: ‘It was a physical game for us (at Accrington).

‘They were geared up for the game and came out fighting.

‘It can be difficult when you have three or four players around you.

‘But we have to work to get around it. That’s what we train and prepare for.

‘They (Barnet) are a physical side. We are going to come up against that a lot this season, and we have to learn to deal with it.

‘We need to work on how to stop them being a physical threat to us.’

The Blues know the areas where they came up short at Accrington last weekend.

Failing to register a shot on target across 90 minutes was an obvious deficiency in their game.

There were a number of contributing factors towards that statistic.

Bennett felt his team were unlikely to go on a massive unbeaten run after their recent success.

But the 26-year-old was still unhappy with the manner in which his team lost – and knows they now have to put that right.

‘The manager knew it would be a fine margin,’ added Bennett.

‘Last season we rolled them over, but they were geared up and we came up short.

‘We needed more shots on goal, even if they did defend well.

‘But we need to put defences under more pressure.

‘We need to get on the training field and put this right.

‘We just have to go on now and prepare correctly for the game.

‘It’s rare you see a team go unbeaten for a long period.

‘We know we are going to lose some games.

‘It’s about the manner in which you lose – and last weekend wasn’t one where the manner in which we lost was the correct one.’