Ryan Bennett believes securing his short-term future with Wolves after signing a new contract will not change him as a player, either on or off the pitch.
The tough-tackling defender, who has been a pivotal part of Nuno Espirito Santo’s backline in the Premier League this season, has signed a new two-and-a-half-year deal which will keep him at the club until 2021.
Bennett will be 31 at the end of his new contact, taking him through the ‘prime’ years of his career, and the centre-back has also spoken about his role in the team, being a senior member of a young Wolves squad, and the club’s ‘special’ future.
On signing his new contract
“We’ve been talking about it for a couple of weeks now behind the scenes, but it’s nice to finally get it done and it’s been good for me. It’s something I can look forward to now.
“It’s not been playing on my mind. The conversations have not really been including me anyway as you have people to take care of it for you - I just got told the final outcome.
“It’s nice that we can finally agree, put pen to paper, and move forward.”
On impact contract will have on him
“You can’t change as a person and how you do things, because ultimately, that has got you where you are. If I did change round here there will be a lot of people telling me and you wouldn’t be getting away with it.
“The squad has a lot of leaders in there, you have Coads [Conor Coady], John [Ruddy], and the dynamics are still the same. We’re all involved in conversations, we all stick together, and I don’t see that changing.
“You look at the players in the squad, the calibre of players in the squad, how young they are and the futures they’ve got – they’ll be the ones who are entitled to come in ‘with a little bit’, but for me, that’s definitely not going to happen.
“If it did, the boys in there would make it known very, very quickly.”
On his role at Wolves
“I like to tackle people, I hit people, that’s the way it is for me. There are other things I do that I probably don’t get the credit for, but I know for us to be successful as a team, I’m not going to be the one who’s going to pick the ball up, go driving with it and set us up on these attacks.
“I understand that, and that’s good for me and good for the other players. There’s other people around me who need the ball, and if I give them the ball then they’re going to hurt people.
“Ultimately that’s my job. Get it out the back and give the ball to these players – basically admire it – and watch what they do.”
On current squad
“There’s people breathing down your neck every single day at this club, and you’ve seen that. I’ve come out of the team this season already, it’s not going to be plain sailing even from now.
“But that’s what you want and the players we have here are unbelievably gifted, and there’s people pushing for places all of the time. It keeps you on your toes and you’ve got to keep that going.”
On the club’s future
“We’re doing things other clubs have tried to do previously, but the players, the manager, the staff – everything they’ve brought in – and everybody around the club, have just came together.
“We’ve come in and worked hard. We’ve lost together, won together, everything we do is together. That’s talked about through the fans, having that one pack – that’s the overriding feeling that we had last year.
“I think the journey that the club is on, from the start of last season to now, if that continues at the rate and the way people are trying to do it, then I think it’s going to be very special.”