MARK Bentley admits he wants to create a winning mentality at Canvey Island.

The Gulls got their pre-season schedule underway with a 3-1 win over Isthmian Premier League side Hornchurch.

And Bentley is looking forward to seeing his side back in action tonight as Canvey do battle with Eastern Counties League Division One South outfit Benfleet.

“We’re playing Benfleet on the astroturf at Waterside Farm Leisure Centre, so that will give us the chance to give the boys a few more minutes,” said Bentley.

“It’s pre-season, so you don’t win or lose leagues at this stage and the results aren’t the most important thing.

“But we do want to have a winning mentality at the club and we set the standard against Hornchurch.”

Bentley ended last term by giving a host of promising Benfleet youngsters minutes with Canvey.

And the ex-Southend United midfielder gave more chances to individuals against Hornchurch on Saturday.

“We were very good in both periods,” added the Canvey boss.

“I want the boys to express themselves in pre-season.

“There is no pressure on the players because, during pre-season, I want them to make mistakes and learn from them.

“We moved the ball really well against Hornchurch and the rotation in midfield was promising.

“We had a few of the Benfleet boys with us as well and I was pleased with them.

“I’m going to give Rob Lacy a chance over pre-season and I saw the quality in him.”