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Southend United goalkeeper Daniel Bentley hopes to make full debut against Exeter City
DANIEL Bentley is hoping to finally make his full debut for Southend United against Exeter City this weekend.
The 19-year-old goalkeeper has twice been in line to make the Blues’ starting line-up, only to be edged out of the side by Cameron Belford signing on loan.
And he is desperate to be given the nod.
“I am ready when called upon and that’s what I have said from day one,” said Bentley, a product of the club’s youth system.
“It is now down to gaffer what he does for Saturday and it will depend on how Paul is too.
“But if I am needed then I am ready and would love to make my first start.”
Bentley was an early replacement for Smith at Gillingham on Tuesday night after Blues’ first choice keeper had been knocked out after just 10 minutes.
After his introduction, Bentley was beaten by a Danny Kedwell penalty on the stroke of half time but he remained pleased with his performance.
“Although I didn’t have a great deal to do I thought what I did do was pretty solid and I was happy with my display overall,” said Bentley.
“It was just such a shame about the result because for the majority of the game I thought we were in control.”
Following the 1-0 defeat, Blues will now be bidding to bounce back against Exeter.
However, Bentley added he wished his opportunity to play had come around in different circumstances.
“I am gutted for him as even though it meant I got on the pitch, I wouldn’t want it to be because of him getting injured,” said Bentley.
“Chances for me have been few and far between so for me to be on the pitch was a privilege and hopefully it will be again on Saturday.”