Ben Turner: Talentspotter

Coventry's former young stopper, who later moved to Cardiff City, speaks to FourFourTwo in January 2008. 

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I’ve had a few but at the moment I’m known as Robocop – apparently I look a bit like him.

Club supported
I always supported Birmingham City as a boy. I grew up in the era when Trevor Francis was in charge. I hardly missed a game.

I’ve got all the attributes needed to be a decent defender – I’m good in the air, a decent tackler and not afraid to get stuck in either. The Championship is a tough league but I spent some time at Peterborough last season and that was just unreal, it’s dog-eat-dog down in League Two.

My positioning and tactical awareness needs some work but that’s something that will come the more I play. Funnily enough, for an ex-striker Iain Dowie is a good defensive coach. He’s always hollering at us to get ‘touch tight’ and to ‘lock on’ to the opposing striker – he knows what he’s on about.

I play a bit like
Gary Pallister. I’m an old-fashioned kind of centre-back and as a youngster I always used to admire him at Manchester United. Him and Steve Bruce were as a good a defensive pair as you’d ever see.

Playing at Old Trafford in the Carling Cup and coming away with the win earlier this season was just amazing. It was my first game of the season and I was feeling pretty shaky in the tunnel, but everything worked out perfectly on the pitch. Celebrating with 12,000 Coventry supporters after the match is something I’ll always remember.

Getting sent off in my first match on loan, up at Oldham. It was a straight red and so I was suspended for the rest of the month.

Toughest opponent
Nicklas Bendtner of Arsenal was awesome.

Best player played with
Stephen Hughes. He’s had so much bad luck with injuries that people forget what a good player he was, and is. I reckon he’s the most underrated player in the Championship.

Biggest influence
Micky Adams gave me my debut at Coventry and you never forget the person who believed that you were good enough to make an impact in the first team. I also worked with Kirk Stephens, and he was a fantastic coach.

Biggest joker at the club
Marcus Hall is pretty lively, he’s always ready to take the piss out of someone.     

Latest car
I’ve had a BMW 3 Series since the summer. It’s certainly one-up on the Peugeot 106 I had before.            

Last time I went to the cinema I watched Saw 4. It was absolutely rubbish, not fit to lace Saw 1’s boots.

Crikey, that’s tough – there’s a lot of women out there. Looks-wise I would punt for Lucy Pinder, but she would have to be down-to-earth – I can’t be doing with birds who are up their own arses. My girlfriend would obviously be my first choice.

Preferred holiday destination
I’ve always fancied going on safari, so ideally I’d have a few days checking out the ‘Big Five’, before heading to the beach.  

If you hadn’t been a footballer
I was always pretty good at school, so I would probably have gone on to be a physio or something along those lines. I’ve also just finished an A-Level in Law, so maybe I could have gone down that route.

Tell us something we don’t know about you
I love horse racing. I’m not a gambling addict, but I can’t get enough of National Hunt meetings. We’ve got a few round here – on my days off that’s where you’ll find me.  

If I could play alongside any player
I wouldn’t have minded playing with Roy Keane. Mind you, he’d probably spend 90 minutes screaming at me.

Most embarrassing moment
The sending off against Oldham was bad, but I went and topped that by getting a red card in my first game back.

In five years time
I’m grateful to be playing at the level I am now and I want to keep improving. I never want to move down, only up.

From the January 2008 issue of FourFourTwo.