EXCLUSIVE: Excited Benteke vows to thrive on goal pressure
Christian Benteke accepts that the pressure is on him this season to deliver goals - but he says he wouldn't want it any other way.
Striker Benteke had an outstanding campaign last time out, hitting 19 in the top-flight and 23 in all competitions.
He says his rapid ratio has naturally raised expectancy levels but he is more than happy to carry the burden on his powerful shoulders.
Benteke says his confidence levels are "very high" as he gears up for the start of the 2013-14 campaign.
And he has backed the team to do "something good" with the feelgood factor very evident in camp.
He said: "I am very happy to score some goals already in pre-season. I feel good. I feel really good.
"I expect myself to do better than last season.
"When you score goals you get some really good confidence levels. They rise.
"As a striker, a lot of people are waiting for me. The fans are waiting for me. So the pressure is going to be bigger around me but this is football and I accept that.
"I can take that. I am young. I am confident. This is part of football. You have to be able to handle this pressure. This is the life I have chosen so I am happy to take this on. I love it.
"Last season was a very good first season for me. I was happy with it. But now it's behind me. I have to look forward and try to do the same or even better.
"I am excited about the new season. I can't wait for it to start. I am looking forward to it.
"We have one more pre-season match left and then it's the start of the season.
"I think it's going to be a good preparation game against Malaga at home. Then we start the season against Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool. We have to be ready for that.
"But the preparation so far has been very good. We all feel good."
Benteke clearly has real faith in Paul Lambert and the young, emerging team that he's assembled.
He says the mood is buoyant and everything is set for an exciting campaign.
He added: "The objective is to do better than last season.
"We have quality in the team. We have to try to do better. That's our aim.
"It was maybe a tough beginning last season but we finished well so why not do something good this season.
"We need to continue like that this season and build on that.
"I see it in training - everyone is happy and in a good mood. Everyone is excited.
"I hope we are going to do something good this season.
"I think this team is going to grow and learn all the time. We are a young team. But we can do something good.
"Our team is full of good players and good people too."
Snap up your Benteke No.20 shirt.
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