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I Can't Compliment The Players Enough - Jim Bentley

16 October 2022


I Can't Compliment The Players Enough - Jim Bentley

16 October 2022

Manager Jim Bentley on Dale’s 2-1 win over Barrow at the Crown Oil Arena, this side’s first league home victory of the season…

“It’s massive. The home form hasn’t been good enough,” said the gaffer.

“We’ve won the last two games away from home 1-0, but we’ve been on at them [the players] all week about building momentum and confidence. Its getting to where we feel it can be with regards to work ethic, spirit and togetherness, and credit to all the players - every one of them, whether they started the game or they came off the bench, or whether they were subs unused or players who trained beforehand (we’re getting a few players from injury back). They’re all having a go and suddenly the competition for places is getting better. It makes my job of picking team a bit more difficult because there are so many who want to play, but they are all striving to get better and you can just sense that before the game. 

“They’ve had a good and positive week coming off the back of the win at Newport. We had a good workout at Accrington in a behind closed doors game on Tuesday and the lads who trained [and didn’t play in the game] were really positive. Nick [Chadwick] took that training session and I took the game. Monday was good because of the knock on effect of Saturday and then Thursday and Friday with regards to the preparation for Barrow, I think it’s been spot on.

“First half with regards to where we could we press, where we could hurt them. We all want to play the beautiful game and have loads of possession but when you can’t, what have got is a threat. We’re good on the counter-attack and there was evidence of that today. There was some great moves.

“We expect and probably demand more. I think we can be even better again and I think we’re still a little bit untidy, but the times we did get it right, we get players in on goal with just the goalkeeper to be beat. My criticism is that I want us to be more ruthless and put the game to bed. After we got the second, can we get the third, can we get out of sight, so to speak, because while it’s 2-0 it’s always in the balance. If the opposition get one back, you’ve got to go through the mayhem there in injury time, but I’m thankful to see us get over the line against a good Barrow side. 

“Pete Wild has done well and he’s a fellow that I’ve got a lot of respect for. He earned his job there after doing well at Halifax. Barrow had a good start to the season and they’ve got good players, they ask questions of you. They’re in a bit of a sticky spell at the moment which can happen but overall it’s a solid start to their season. 

“With regards to ourselves, getting that win at home and continuing that winning streak, including the Liverpool game, it’s four in five now, so loads of positives. It’s a big win for us, it moves up the table again and pulls one or two teams into range now and we’re looking upwards suddenly.”

When asked what he felt was key to the win over the Bluebirds, Bentley commented: “Graft, determination and carrying out the things that we worked on. 

“We’ve worked on set-plays and we’ve worked on a throw-in routine which has got Liam Kelly in for the first goal. We want players to go and express themselves and enjoy what they do, go work hard and go and earn their money, and go and represent the football club and the town, and when they are on that pitch, express themselves and go and play. I think they did that at times today.

“We can get better with the ball but the biggest thing is that, when I came to the club, I wanted the fans to be proud of the players in regards to who is representing their town’s football club because players and staff come and go but the fans are the most important people at any club and while you’re at the club, you’ve got to give it your absolute all. You’re in a privileged position and you’re living the dream that a lot of these people who come to the games want to do, and I think we’re getting that at the minute. Fans are going home happy with what they are seeing - you go back to last week with the determination and the defence rear guard action - obviously we could have scored a few more goals that day and we could have scored a few more today - but we’re emptying the tank every game and everyone is buying into what we’re trying to do. There’s a good spirit and that takes you a long way, and I think we’ve got a team at the moment that the fans are proud of. 

“But there’s no use going, right, it’s going to happen every week. It’s every day in training, it’s every day they come into work, it’s everything they apply themselves to do, whether it’s on the grass, whether it’s in analysis, in the gym, the psychological side of things or the team spirit side of things, we want to generate that feel good factor and that happy, hard working environment, and there’s good signs of that. 

“There’s still more work to do and we want to get better and better, but with regards to the players, I can’t compliment them enough. To have one point when we [Nick and I] came into the club - from a draw when Jim McNulty took the game against Crawley Town - suddenly now we’ve got a few wins under our belt there's a feel good factor. 

“We will hit bumps in the road and there will be times when we lose one or two, that’s natural and happens at every club, but whilst we’re in this little stage at the minute, we've just got to make sure that we build on what we’re doing and continue to be confident, go and express ourselves and ultimately have no regrets when they come off that pitch on a matchday, and that’s what we’re getting at the minute, so that’s good.”

Watch the full interview on our YouTube channel.

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