Southend United's Daniel Bentley: We've already spent too long in League Two

Daniel Bentley - has already kept 20 clean sheets this season

Daniel Bentley - has already kept 20 clean sheets this season

First published in Sport by

DANIEL Bentley feels Southend United have already spent too long in League Two and is desperate to help get them promoted through the play-offs.

The Shrimpers have been back in the basement division for the past four seasons.

But highly rated goalkeeper Bentley is convinced there will not be a fifth.

“This is our year and we’re all very confident we can go on and get promotion,” said the 20-year-old.

“This club deserves to be in League One and we’ve been playing at this level for too long now.

“With the fans we have we shouldn’t be in League Two and, after a few bites at the cherry, we all think we can go and get promotion this year.”

Blues’ excellent defensive record has been a major reason for their success this season and they ended the regular League Two term having conceded fewer goals than any other team.

Bentley was beaten just 39 times in 46 league games and kept 20 clean sheets in all competitions.

But, despite that success, being awarded an extended contract and being linked with a switch to Championship club Leeds United, the former Bromfords School pupil will not be happy unless the Shrimpers go up.

“I’ve been happy with the season so far but we need to finish it off with promotion,” said Bentley.

“We want to keep the good defensive record going but that’s not down to me, the hard work has been done by the defenders in front of me.

“All season they have been brilliant and now we want to keep that going for another three games.”

For that to happen, Blues must see off Burton Albion in the two legged semi-final.

The Shrimpers have already beaten the Brewers twice this term.

However, Bentley feels that will count for nothing in the next fortnight.

“These are two cup ties now for us and it doesn’t matter what has gone on before,” said the youngster.

“We will be taking nothing for granted but we’re also feeling confident at the same time.”

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