SCOT Bennett is determined to bring back the FA Cup glory days to Newport County AFC and earn a new deal to stay at Rodney Parade beyond the end of this season, writes Andrew Penman.

The 32-year-old is fit to start today’s first-round tie at home to Oldham Athletic after being forced off during the second half of the EFL Trophy defeat by West Ham United under-21s in midweek.

And the world’s oldest cup competition always gets the blood pumping for Bennett, one of the last survivors of the squad that beat Leeds United, Middlesbrough and Leicester City, as well as taking Tottenham Hotspur to a replay, Brighton & Hove Albion to penalties and even giving Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City a scare. “Every time the FA Cup comes round, you look forward to hopefully replicating those runs,” said Bennett.

“Financially it’s massive for the club, but it’s just the atmosphere and the spirit that it brings. As a squad those games are special, and you really look forward to them. They’re the games you want to be involved in as a kid.

“The Man City one is the standout, just because of what they’ve done over the last few years and their manager being one of the greatest in football history. It was just a special day,” he added.

“I had to mark David Silva, unfortunately. I could say it was fun, but I’d be lying!

“It was a tough day. But it was a really nice experience, especially after the game. They invited us into their dressing room, and we all got a shirt.

“I managed to get Fernadinho’s. I’ve got a little collection tucked away safely. I also got [Ilkay] Gundogan’s and I’ve got [James] Maddison and Eric Dier. They are nice mementos.”

Bennett knows that National League outfit Oldham will be no pushovers today.

“Everyone is well aware what it means to the club but, obviously, you’ve got to get off to a good start and hopefully we can do that,” he said.

“I’ve played Oldham a lot and they’re a good outfit. I’m sure they’ll give us a tough game, but it’s one we’re hoping to go and win.”

Bennett, who first came to County as a centre-back in 2015, has been a stalwart in midfield in recent years but has dropped back to shore up the defence in the last two matches.

“I think that centre-back is probably my strongest position, especially in the middle of a three,” he said.

“But I’ve always just wanted to be on the pitch and, if the manager sees me as a midfielder, I’ll do my job in there.

“I feel good and I definitely want to carry on. I feel like I’ve still got more to give. I just want to play football for as long as I can.

“My contract is up at the end of this season. We’ll see how it goes. My aim is to play as many games as I can, and we’ll see where that takes me. Hopefully it will be here, but you never know in football.”