Benjani targets debut against City

02 September 2010 12:29
ew Blackburn forward Benjani is hoping to make his debut against Manchester City - but is just relieved to be in a Premier League squad.[LNB] Top-flight clubs each submitted lists of a maximum of 25 players for the first half of the 2010-11 campaign to the Premier League yesterday, with Tottenham's injured former England defender Jonathan Woodgate one of the more high-profile omissions.[LNB]Benjani has been included in the Rovers squad after signing an initial one-year deal at Ewood Park last week and, having struggled for fitness himself in recent times, the Zimbabwe striker is relieved to have made the cut.[LNB]"I have been troubled by injuries and now I am 32," Benjani said.[LNB]"If by this time next season I still have a club in the Premier League, I will be very, very happy.[LNB]"At other clubs there are good players who they didn't register, but today I'm here at Blackburn, I'm registered and I'm very happy.[LNB]"It is so sad that other players don't have that opportunity to play this season."[LNB]Benjani was released by Manchester City earlier this summer, bringing to an end a largely unsuccessful and injury-marred two-and-a-half-year stint at Eastlands.[LNB]He also failed to find the net in eight games while on loan at Sunderland last season, but prior to joining City, Benjani had enjoyed a fairly prolific spell with Portsmouth and the forward knows it is vital that he is not rushed back into action if he is to ever rediscover that form.[LNB]"It will depend on my fitness and I am still working on it right now," Benjani said.[LNB]"Hopefully if I am fit I will try and fight for my place. The lads are performing, so it is not easy to come here and just walk into the team. I need to work hard.[LNB]"I'm still fighting - my fitness is not up to the level of the Premier League at the moment and I am working very hard with the fitness trainers.[LNB]"I need to be playing and will be playing some friendly matches. Hopefully if I get three or four of those, maybe I might be fit in the next month."[LNB]A raft of expensive new players arrived at City after Benjani was signed in 2008 by then-manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and having been deemed surplus to requirements by the club's current boss Roberto Mancini, the striker has taken the opportunity to fire a parting shot at his former employers.[LNB]Speaking about what it was like to be at City when they were spending so much money, Benjani said: "It sounds great, but in football money is not everything.[LNB]"What is needed is people who can hang around and love you to be there.[LNB]"Sometimes you are loved to be there because of money, which is not good. I would prefer to be here without having all those facilities, be happy and trust everyone around you."[LNB]Asked if he thought some players at City were interested in money more than anything else, Benjani said: "Yes, it seemed like that and behind the scenes, there is no trust.[LNB]"I would prefer to play for a club where you are being trusted and you trust everyone around you."[LNB]Former Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp brought Benjani to English football in 2006 and it is where the player hopes to see out the rest of his career.[LNB]"I played in Switzerland and France and I have loved to come and play here in England," he said.[LNB]"It is the best league in the world and I would love to end my career here."

Source: Team_Talk