By support

2nd Aug, 2016 | 7:01pm

Aston Villa defender gears up for Championship opener, praises away fans

By Amir Mir

Joe Bennett has praised the club’s away support as Aston Villa prepare for a tough opening fixture against Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday.

Villa have sold their allocation of 4,544 tickets as the Midlands side make a trip to Hillsborough for their first game in the second-tier since 1987.

Left-back Bennett will be hoping to be in manager Roberto Di Matteo’s first-team plans as he gives his thoughts on a tricky away fixture against his former club.

“It’s the perfect opener in my eyes,” Bennett told the club’s official Twitter account. “There’s a huge crowd expected and it’s no surprise it’s been picked for TV either.

“I know that we’ve sold our allocation of over 4,500 tickets which is terrific. Our fans are backing us in huge numbers.”

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Bennett signed for the Midlands club in 2012 for then-manager Paul Lambert, but the young defender has seen his game time restricted to only 30 appearances in four years.

The 26-year-old was out on loan last season, firstly at Premier League side Bournemouth, then to the club Di Matteo’s side will visit on Sunday.

Bennett will be hoping to get the nod ahead of the much-criticised Aly Cissokho, as fan favourite Jordan Amavi makes a steady return following his lengthy injury lay-off.

In other Aston Villa team news, club legend Paul McGrath reveals which one player can hold his head up high after relegation last season.