BEING tracked by a plethora of cameras and watched by millions of fans on television does not overawe Kyle Bennett.
If anything, the diminutive attacker embraces the challenge and is relishing the prospect of taking on Leeds United tonight at the Keepmoat Stadium, which is to be screened on Sky, kick-off 7.45pm.
Bennett, who joined Doncaster Rovers for an undisclosed fee from Bury in the summer, told The Star: “It is great when the cameras are around. Some players get nervous when the spotlight is on them but it is something I relish. I really enjoy playing in front of the cameras and in front of a big crowd. I enjoy those occasions.”
Rovers have a score to settle with the Whites, having been dumped out of the second round of the Carling Cup by their Yorkshire rivals almost two months ago. In the next phase of the competition, Leeds drew Manchester United at home, losing 3-0 at a packed Elland Road.
In what was arguably one of their best attacking displays of the season, Rovers went ahead in the cup clash courtesy of an early strike from James Hayter but Leeds fought back to claim a 2-1 success through two goals from Ramon Nunez.
Bennett said: “I can’t wait for the game. It is a local derby. It is on Sky which makes it 10 times better. We are all looking forward to it and it would be nice to put one over them after they beat us in the cup.
“We know what they are about, having played against them already, but we have to keep concentrating on ourselves and as long as we play our game, we can beat anyone.”
It was Bennett who grabbed the winner at Peterborough United before the two-week international break. He came on as a sub for the final half hour to stretch a tiring defence and the tactical change worked as he seized on a mistake at the back to hand Rovers their first victory on the road in seven months.
The 20-year-old, who can operate on either flank or play in the hole behind the main striker, admitted: “There is nothing better than scoring, especially as it helped the team pick up the three points.
“Dean (Saunders) put me on up front because he wanted some pace up there.
“He wanted me to turn the defence around and get in behind them. I think my best position is just off the front man so I don’t mind it at all when I have to go up there. I do enjoy it.”
It was Bennett’s second goal of the season, his previous strike came in the 3-0 cup triumph over Tranmere Rovers.
The precociously talented youngster, who found the back of the net in a behind closed doors practice match against Sheffield Wednesday last week, added: “I didn’t feel like I had a point to prove to the manager when I came on at Peterborough. I got brought to the club to score and set up goals and I’m glad I managed to contribute down there.
“All I’m interested in is helping my team mates out. It has been a great start since the new gaffer has come in and everyone is really pleased that we have picked up seven points out of nine so far.
“We are all trying to adapt to Dean’s way of working but nobody can argue with what he is doing because it seems to be working right now.
“Obviously it was hard when Sean (O’Driscoll) left because he was the one who brought me in. But these things happen in football so you just have to move on.
“Sean was a great manager and no one can take that away from him but maybe we got used to losing under him. Now Dean has come in and tried to instil a winning mentality in us and hopefully we can keep on winning.
“We were maybe going into games before fearing what the opposition could do to us but now we believe we can beat anyone.”
While Rovers are targeting retribution tonight, Saunders is urging his players to enjoy the atmosphere and make home advantage count.
“It is a big local derby and it is great to be involved in it,” said the Welshman. “If you don’t enjoy playing in games like this, something is wrong.
“I can feel the fans getting behind the team. The support we had at Peterborough was outstanding. I have played against Doncaster in the past and when the fans make their voices heard, it is like having an extra man.
“We have to sing louder than the Leeds end. Hopefully the fans bring their voices with them and get behind the lads.”