KYLE BENNETT believes he will rise to the challenge of playing in front of a bumper Fratton Park crowd.
More than 17,000 fans are expected to turn out for the League Two curtain-raiser against Dagenham & Redbridge tomorrow.
Optimism is high at the start of the Paul Cook era, and Bennett has sensed the energy around the city.
The prospect of playing in front of crowds rarely seen in English football’s basement division has been enough to consume players in the past two seasons.
Bennett promised it will create an environment for the attacker to thrive in.
He said: ‘There’s going to be 17,000 there on Saturday.
I want to show as many people as possible what I’m capable of doing.Kyle Bennett
‘That shows this is a massive city for football.
‘You don’t see those kind of numbers in League Two very often.
‘Some players feel the pressure of a big crowd.
‘I’m sure people have seen it over the years here.
‘Me, personally, I love playing in front of big crowds.
‘I want to show as many people as possible what I’m capable of doing.
‘I love that opportunity. I can’t wait to have that chance.
‘We have to go out there and send them (the fans) home happy.’
Bennett revealed the anticipation of his Pompey debut is growing – and will only rise further before the big kick-off.
‘I’ve got the excitement, but I’ll get it more before the game,’ he said.
‘On Saturday I’ll get the buzz.
‘We did the open training session the other day and you could sense people can’t wait to get back.
‘The city feels the same – football is back.’