Bencherif vows to fight for place in Notts County side
HAMZA Bencherif has vowed to keep fighting hard for a place in the Notts County team.
The 24-year-old Algerian has played just 16 minutes as a sub in League One this season.
But he made a rare start at centre-back in their 1-1 draw against Rotherham United in the second round of the FA Cup because Dean Leacock was suspended and Damion Stewart is injured.
He admits it has been a frustrating time, but said: "That's what football is like.
Landlords let us advertise your property and find you vetted tenants quickly. Our let only service is £195.
We offer full management services as well as rent guarantee and rent advance. Call us
Terms: No hidden charges, you will be informed of all costs in advance. The letting agency you can trust.
Contact: 0115 8969582
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"You just have to make sure you work hard and never give up.
"As long as I'm here I will always play 100 per cent and do my best. I love Nottingham. I love the club."
Bencherif, who is out of contract at Meadow Lane at the end of the season, has made only two more starts this season, against Scunthorpe United and Sheffield United in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
"It feels good to play," he added. "The gaffer asked me to step up and play and I made sure I came in and did my best.
"I'm still a long way off 100 per cent, but I feel like I did well.
"I thought to myself 'keep it simple' because I've not played a lot this season.
"When you think about it, there was loads of pressure because it was an FA Cup game and we've got a good unbeaten run away, so I tried to go in there and win my headers, make tackles and do the basics right.
"I didn't want to let anyone down. When you go in, you want to perform well."
French striker Yoann Arquin put the Magpies 1-0 ahead against the Millers on 32 minutes, volleying Alan Sheehan's cross into the bottom-left corner of the net from inside the penalty area, but their League Two opponents decisively hit back just ten minutes later through midfielder Ben Pringle.
Notts created several more chances in the first half, with Arquin heading against the crossbar and Jeff Hughes heading wide from close range, and Bencherif rued those missed opportunities.
"Yoann's goal was amazing," he said. "It was a great cross and a great hit.
"I think he scored a goal like that for Hereford last season and when he hit it I thought 'wow'.
"We all know what he is capable of – he could become a great player.
"We were really on top in the first half and we were a bit unlucky with a few chances.
"They hit the post, but I don't think Bartosz (Bialkowski) had that many shots to stop."
The two sides will now replay the tie at Meadow Lane on Tuesday, December 11, and Bencherif is confident they will make home advantage count to set-up a third-round tie against Aldershot.
"Now we're going to be at home so I don't think we will have any worries," he continued.
"They are a good side, but I feel comfortable that at home we can win that and go through to the next round."