RICHARD O’Kelly is urging Doncaster Rovers fans to be patient with “exciting” winger Kyle Bennett.
Quick midfielder Bennett has shown flashes of individual brilliance in the pre-season friendlies since joining Rovers from Bury for an undisclosed fee last month.
Boss Sean O’Driscoll hopes he has unearthed another lower league gem in Bennett, who is contracted to the Keepmoat Stadium outfit until 2013.
Indeed, Rovers backroom staff are confident the skilful wide player will make an immediate impact in the second tier of English football despite having climbed up two divisions.
Speaking to The Star last night, assistant manager O’Kelly said: “Players like Kyle give everybody a lift.
“He has come in and looked very exciting in training and in the pre-season games. He has got an awful lot to learn and the Championship is quite unforgiving.
“But he has got a great personality and he will only get better. People have to be patient with him and I think he will guarantee that because when he hasn’t got the ball he will be working his socks off to get it back.
“I think he will earn the right for people to be patient with him because of the way he plays with his effort and enthusiasm.”
In 32 league appearances for the Shakers last term, Bennett bagged two goals. He accepts he is not the finished article and needs to keep on improving if he wants to play in the top flight in the future.
“I think I probably need to work on my tactical awareness because League Two is a lot different to the Championship,” he admitted. “I’ve got to learn to play the way that the manager wants me to play and to become more aware of what is going on around me in relation to my teammates.”
Meanwhile, O’Kelly has said midfielder Paul Keegan is three weeks away from returning to action due to injury while the long-term absentees, including Adam Lockwood, James Chambers, Brian Stock, Shelton Martis, Mark Wilson, Martin Woods and James O’Connor are set to remain on the sidelines for four to eight weeks.
Northern Ireland international Dean Shiels is enjoying playing under his father Kenny at Kilmarnock.
The 26-year-old, who joined the Scottish Premier League outfit on loan from Rovers last week, said: “Anyone who knows my father will know he will not treat me any different to anyone else, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
“You can see the way he wants to play.
“That football suits the way I play and I think it gets the best out of me.”