Leicester City’s FA Cup third-round replay with Fleetwood may have been unwanted by the club after their hectic fixture schedule, but not by defender Yohan Benalouane.
The French/Tunisian sees next Tuesday’s clash at the King Power Stadium as another opportunity to get rare first-team action.
The centre-back made only his second appearance of the season in last Saturday’s goalless draw at the Highbury Stadium – and his first start – and he knows the cup competitions provide his best chance of action as he has yet to appear in the Premier League this season.
“For me, it is more important because it is a chance for me to play,” he said. “I need to play and I want to play.
“I think in the last few years I have shown something and now hopefully someone will give me my chance again.
“I will continue to keep going, train well and we have another game because it is another game to play. That is good for my fitness.”
If City come through the replay, they will face an away trip to Peterborough in the fourth round – the first time City have met the Posh in the FA Cup.
But Benalouane said City had to focus on beating a plucky Fleetwood side first.
“Yes, it is always frustrating when you don’t win,” he said. “We are competitive. You have to play for to win every game.
“It was difficult but we kept the clean-sheet and we have another game at home, and it will be even more important.
“I hope it will be different in the replay. At the King Power, we have to show more.
“We have to play and move the ball. We have to try to get into the next round.”
City almost suffered a giant killing at the League One club when a late shot deflected off Benalouane and hit the post, before hitting goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic and bouncing back off the post again into his arms.
It was a stroke of luck Benalouane admits every side need in the lottery of cup competitions.
“In a game like this every time you can win or lose in a single moment,” he said.
“It was important to be more concentrated because we know this game is like a lottery – maybe one corner or one free-kick will decide it.
Striker Islam Slimani came in for some criticism for his performance as City failed to muster a single shot on target in the game, but Benalouane said he had sympathy for the Algerian.
“The pitch was very difficult and as well for the strikers,” he added.
“It was difficult for Slim because he was alone and it was difficult to control the ball and turn.”