The curtain fell on our 2015-16 campaign in disappointing fashion at Newcastle United earlier this month, but a string of bright performances and positive results over the course of the year have left many looking forward to what 2016-17 will bring.
Indeed, high-scoring home wins over the likes of Manchester City, West Ham and Manchester United certainly whetted the appetite for success as the year progressed but left-back Ben, who played 27 times in all competitions, insists the players’ desire was there from the word go – even though we took a while to get off the mark.
Recalling the opening exchanges of 2015-16, which saw us slip to a narrow 1-0 reverse at Old Trafford back on August 8, 2015, and draw three consecutive matches prior to our first win at Sunderland in September, he said: “We were as disappointed then to lose to Manchester United as we would be now.
“We had high expectations from the start that we largely kept to as a group. We had our odd glitches in the season but the Manchester City game (4-1 win on September 26) was a big point for us – we set a marker down to show that we can do these things and get good results against big teams and that’s something that we’re always confident of within this squad so it was nice to be able to show it.
“As I said, I think we largely kept good standards throughout the year. Everybody is 100 per cent behind each other all the time and I think that showed in our performances and where we got to during the season.
“We wanted to do as well as we could and I think we gave this year a good go.”