SOUTHEND United's highly rated goalkeeper Daniel Bentley insists he has not been fazed by the speculation surrounding his future.

The 21-year-old, who has been linked with Bristol City, Preston North End and Brentford since the transfer window re-opened, kept his fourth clean sheet in five games to help the Shrimpers draw 0-0 with Plymouth Argyle at Roots Hall.

But Bentley remains focused on impressing for Southend. “I'm fully focused on what's happening on the pitch,” said Bentley.

“There's been a bit of speculation and you wouldn't find a single player in our dressing room who doesn't want to play at a higher level.

“But I leave that to the powers that be and I'm just focused on things that happen in the games because that's my job.

“I pride myself on being mentally strong and that's what you've got to be.

“You have to forget about any speculation when you cross that white line and that's what I do.”

Bentley did well to deny both Lewis Alessandra and Andy Kellett in the first half and has now conceded just one goal in his last five games.

But four of those outings have ended in draws due to the Shrimpers' struggles at the other end of the pitch.

And Bentley joked he may soon have to join in with the attacks.

“I'll go up for corners from now on I think,” laughed Bentley.

“It's obviously great to be getting these clean sheets but I would rather be winning games.

“We aren't doing that because things aren't going our way at the top end of the pitch at the moment.

“But it's something that we're working on and hopefully we will start to score a few goals to turn these draws in to wins.”

The latest share of the spoils kept the Shrimpers sixth in the League Two standings.

But Bentley is keen to avoid the play-offs and secure automatic promotion.

“We want to be in the top three,” said the shot-stopper.

“People keep mentioning the play-offs but they're a gamble and we want to get automatic promotion.”