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Ben Turner says EFL return with Notts County would match reaching top flight

The Magpies finished third after the National League was halted early.

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Ben Turner scored for Cardiff at Wembley against Liverpool. (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Ben Turner scored for Cardiff at Wembley against Liverpool. (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Ben Turner scored for Cardiff at Wembley against Liverpool. (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Notts County defender Ben Turner insists promotion back to the EFL would match reaching the Premier League.

The centre-back is preparing for Sunday’s National League play-off final against Harrogate at Wembley.

Turner helped Cardiff reach the Premier League seven years ago, winning the Sky Bet Championship title by eight points, and then played 31 times in the top flight for the Bluebirds in 2013-14.

And, after beating Barnet 2-0 in the semi-final on Saturday, Turner believes going up with the Magpies would be a similar achievement.

“It would mean as much as when I got promoted from the Championship to the Premier League,” he said, after Neal Ardley’s side finished third in the table following the league’s early finish because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I put more into this than I did that. It’s about personal satisfaction.

“The thing which has become apparent as I’ve become an old player is I have to put in more work off the pitch with the recovery to keep myself able to compete with players who are 10, 12, 13 years younger.

“I have done more than I have ever done for less money, less returns, at a lower level but I love it.

“When you’re young and your body is perfect it’s great but nothing would give me greater personal satisfaction. It doesn’t matter it’s not at the level (the Premier League) it was, I love being at this place.

“The best place in football is to be at a club where everyone is pulling in the same direction. It’s great to go into work in this environment.”

The 32-year-old also scored in Cardiff’s League Cup penalty defeat to Liverpool at Wembley in 2012.

He netted a 118th-minute leveller as the Bluebirds drew 2-2 after extra time before losing 3-2 in a shoot-out to leave him in a position to offer Wembley advice to his team-mates.

“It sounds really basic but look at the grass, don’t look at the stadium,” said the former Coventry and Burton defender.

“The more you look up it can get a bit ‘woah, this is massive and different’. You could be stood there waiting for kick off and look up and get the rush. It’s great but you don’t want too much of it.

“It is huge and different but different isn’t always going to be good, it’s a game of football so treat it like that.”

PA