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Freund's praise for returning players

Steffen Freund reserved special praise for Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto after Saturday’s 3-0 FA Cup win against Coventry.

It was midfielder Scott’s first start of the season after five substitute appearances while Benoit was back in the line-up for the first since September 1.

Both impressed as we did the job against the Sky Blues in the first half thanks to a double from Clint Dempsey and Gareth Bale’s volley.

The win set-up a fourth round tie against either Leeds or Birmingham, who replay at St Andrew’s on Tuesday, January 15 after drawing on Saturday.

“It was great to see Benoit back,” said Assistant Head Coach Steffen. “It’s never easy after a long-term injury but he played really well, he was strong on the ball, won a lot of possession for us, good crosses from the left side, especially in the first half.

“When you consider that he’s been out for four months, it was a great performance.

“Scott worked so hard, especially in the first 60 minutes. I’m really proud of him too. We played well, we kept a clean sheet, everything is positive, especially for Scott.”