Poyet optimistic over Bennett
Brighton boss aims to keep key men for Championship adventure
By Jamie Casey. Last Updated: April 18, 2011 11:44am
Bennett: Named in PFA League One Team of the Year
Brighton boss Gus Poyet expects in-demand winger Elliott Bennett to be a part of his side in the Championship next season.
The Seagulls secured the League One title on Saturday following a 3-1 win at Walsall, with key-man Bennett grabbing their third.
It was his sixth league goal of the campaign and, sitting third in the table of assists, the winger more than merits his place in the PFA League One Team of the Year.
Bennett signed a contract last November which ties him to the club until 2014 and chairman Tony Bloom rejected an enquiry from Championship high-flyers Norwich in January.
Poyet is already planning for next season in England's second tier, and he admits keeping the spine of his team together will be vital to their chances of survival.
"We need key players to compete in this league (Championship) and Bennett is one of them," Poyet told The Mirror.
"He has had a difficult few months with speculation over his future but the chairman has done well to keep him.
"I have to thank him for that because he is an important player."
The Uruguayan added: "I am very proud of the team, they have been outstanding. Without any doubt we are the best team in the league."
Bennett remained tight-lipped on his future, though, but could not contain his delight in winning the League One title.
He said: "We have got a very good manager and a great chairman who backs him, so we'll see where that takes us, but for now let's enjoy this."