Defender Joe Bennett praised for Aston Villa comeback

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Paul Lambert today hailed comeback kid Joe Bennett after his Villa return.

The 23-year-old defender has come through a "hard time" following injury, according to boss Lambert.

Bennett was hampered by a back injury for two months before returning against West Ham in February – his first appearance since September – and has now jumped ahead of Antonio Luna in the pecking order.

His opportunities looked limited after Ryan Bertrand joined on loan from Chelsea in January. But he replaced Bertrand in Saturday's 1-0 win over the Blues with the left-back unable to play under the terms of his loan.

And his performance earned praise from Lambert. "He's had a wee bit of a hard time, but that performance was excellent," he said.

"I never really waver when a lad goes on to the pitch. If they are out there I believe they'll go and do the job and try their utmost to do well. I trust them to go and do their best.

"He was outstanding. It was his first game there (left-back) for months and months and I thought he was absolutely terrific."

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