Stevenage’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy campaign came to an end at the hands of Dagenham last night but one positive was the return to goal-scoring form of Ben Kennedy.
The 18-year old Northern Irishman had been out since the start of pre-season after requiring hip surgery, but after a quick recovery returned to action as a second half sub against Mansfield last week and has since played 90 minutes against Carlisle and Dagenham.
Talking to us after last night’s game he told us, “It’s good to be back after a long period out. I came back for pre-season and did my hip on the second day, so that wasn’t a great start but now I’m back and trying to help the team win games.
"I try to keep my body in the best shape as possible, I wanted to get back playing, especially when things weren’t going great. Had we been going great I would have said I’d take my time but I wanted to get back playing and have people watch me doing well for the team. We’re in a bad spell at the moment.”
"I just do my best for team. Even if I’m having a bad game I’ll run, I’ll do whatever it takes to win a game but it’s just not meant to be these past few weeks."
When posed to him that in last Tuesday's sub appearance he was trying to pick the game up by the scruff of its neck Ben smiled and said, “Of course, that’s what I get paid for, to do things, create things and score things but we still got beat in the end.”
With a two goal deficit to overcome Boro were awarded a late penalty which Ben converted, having taken over spot-kick duties. He explained: “Yesterday the gaffer said he was changing the penalty taker and no one was going to take it off me if I’m honest. I scored one at Cheltenham last year.”
The squad are working hard to get things right but Ben says a nasty streak is perhaps what’s needed in the changing room to turn things around.
“The experience players are trying to get things going and trying to get people going but we need to get more nasty, we need to demand more of each other and try and get the best out of each other. We’ve a few low on confidence and maybe people are feeling sorry for themselves, but football’s a cruel game. We need to put in more hard work to try and get the best out of each other in training. If that means you need to kick someone then kick someone!”
“We go to Exeter on Sunday, another game on Sky TV and the pressure is on us. We need to put in a performance.”
Ben’s focus remains on doing well for this club but he also has one eye on representing his country at international level.
“I’m still only young, playing for the U19s. The latest squad has already been picked but I had a phonecall from Jim Magilton yesterday to put me on stand-by. I just want to play football at the moment. I want to do well for Stevenage, I want to do well for myself and my family and see where that leads me.”