Ryan Bennett says the players remaining in Wolverhampton during the international weekend have maintained standards for those returning to hit straight away.
Bennett, alongside the likes of Conor Coady, Jonny Otto and Adama Traore, maintained high levels in training over the past week, meaning the 11 returning internationals could hit the ground running. Now, they come together for the start of another busy cycle of matches, which begins with a trip to Bournemouth on Saturday, where fit again Bennett knows to expect a tough test.
On Raul and other internationals returning
“For him to travel to Mexico all the time is tough. It helps the way he knows the team, he knows everything, the way we play and he’s the focal point as the only man up top now. He knows when he comes back in what he’s got to do, what’s expected, and what everyone’s going to do around him.
“The philosophy at this club is everybody else at the club now, when the lads are away, have to keep everything going, so when the players come back in, they have to hit the ground running with you.
“Instead of waiting for everyone to come back, relying on them and being a bit out of it, one of the big things is everything’s geared up for them to come back in and have to fit in with the way we’ve been working, and it’s worked.”
On recovering from injury
“It has been slightly frustrating. It was a tough start to the Premier League season, we didn’t get the results that we needed, and ultimately the team changes here and there to create the need to win. I got back in and then had a pull on my groin, so it’s just one of those things, it happens in football and for me at the minute it’s the way it is.
“The injury’s been an issue for me since then and I’ve spent time trying to get it right and sorted. It’s one of those things that maybe the extra games and the extra load doesn’t help, but I had a problem at the wrong time really and hopefully it will get resolved sooner rather than later.
“It won’t be an operation. I’ve done different things with people, some things have helped, some things haven’t. It’s just trying to find that balance to get it 100 per cent right to enable you to go out and do everything to the maximum of your potential, and hopefully we’re getting there now.”
On respecting Bournemouth
“It’s a tough place to go. I’ve been there for years at different levels, I’ve played there in League Two and I’ve played there in the Premier League, and it’s always been a tough place to go, whatever level they’ve been at.
“They’re a good team with a good manager, they play the right way, so everyone knows, going there, it’s going to be a tough day and it’ll be no different for us, but we know that if we stick to our game plan and do the things we can, we’ll be positive.
“They’ve always played in a good way. They’ve always been quite expansive, maybe they are a little bit more solid this year, but the fundamentals of the team are still the same, with the two strikers that they’ll have. They’ve got a few different players in different positions, so it’ll be a tough game, but we’ll look at the videos and try to counteract them with the things we do.”