Kundai Benyu hoping to break into Ipswich Town first team after apologising to Mick McCarthy about ‘attitude problem’
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Teenage midfielder Kundai Benyu is hoping he can make a belated senior breakthrough for Ipswich Town after apologising to manager Mick McCarthy about an ‘attitude problem’.
The highly-rated youngster was on the fringes of the first team at the age of 16 and was named on the bench twice in the Championship during 2014/15 – including the East Anglian derby against Norwich at Carrow Road.
A knee injury sidelined him for much of the 2014/15 campaign, but – after signing a new contract – he failed to kick on and been limited to Under-18 and Under-23 football over the last 18 months.
McCarthy allowed Benyu to feature for Tottenham’s Under-19s at the NextGen Series tournament in Amsterdam this summer. Asked at the time whether the Camden-born player had a future at the club, the Blues boss replied: “That’s up to him with his attitude and his approach to football and being here. It’s down to him, he’s got ability.”
Benyu, who qualifies to play for Zimbabwe, offered a reminder of that ability when he scored a brilliant free-kick as Gerard Nash’s Under-23s lost 4-2 to Charlton at Playford Road on Monday.
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Asked afterwards about why he had slipped down the pecking order, he replied: “It’s my fault really. I had an attitude problem last season which put the gaffer off using me but I’ve apologised now and we’re on good terms again so it’s all good now.
“I was out for about four-and-a-half months too so my season last year was a bit stop and start. I’m alright now. I’m all fit and well and I’m looking to push to get back in the first-team this season.
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“The main goal is to break into the first-team and play Championship football but the FA Cup is coming up soon so maybe I can get a look in in that.
“I’m out of contract at the end of the season but hopefully at some point in the season I’ll be able to renew here for another couple of years.
“Speaking to the gaffer about it is on my to-do list but hopefully if I keep playing well and get into the first-team again then it will persuade him to offer me something. That’s the aim, anyway.”
Ipswich return to action, following last weekend’s international break, with a televised Championship home game against Nottingham Forest on Saturday tea-time (5.30pm, Sky Sports).