Jim Bentley has taken aim at Southport critics – as he heaps importance on the FA Trophy ahead of their South Shields clash.
The Sandgrounders take on the North East side for the second time in just seven days, following their 1-0 win over Julio Arca’s side in the National League North.
Football returns to The Big Help Stadium in a third home match in seven days, with the 1-1 draw with Farsley Celtic wedged in between.
Port will be buoyed by the news that Bentley penned fresh terms at Haig Avenue, keeping him at the club until 2026, in a marker of intent from the new owners.
Southport were dumped out of the FA Cup in a first defeat for the former Morecambe and AFC Fylde manager, as lower-league side Morpeth Town upset the Yellows. The disappointment has fuelled Bentley who wants to make a mark in the competition and put emphasis on the distraction away from domestic action.
We want to do well in all competitions, I always say, I don’t buy into this ‘we didn’t really want to be in this competition’, you still want to go out and win the game,” he told Off The Park. “It doesn’t matter what competition, you may as well not enter, you do everything to the best of your ability and you try to win every game you go into.
“We want to go as far as we can, we’re disappointed with the FA Cup – that was a big negative for me in the short space of time that I’ve been here.
“We have an opportunity on Saturday against a good side that we know from the weekend, they went and scored five, it doesn’t surprise me they’re a good team. It’s a tough game but it’s a competition we want to do well in but naturally, there will be changes because of how hectic the game schedule has been.”
During and after Southport’s win over South Shields, Port came in for criticism for their performance from fractions of the defeated club.
However, the 47-year-old shrugged it off and labelled the claims as ‘disrespectful’. Bentley added: “I’m not bothered about what people say, it’s easy to favour the team that you back. I think there’s an element of disrespect there because if you look back through the game, with the ball we can do better but we offered a threat, we almost scored from a corner and a counter-attack on numerous occasions.
“Without the ball (against South Shields) we were fantastic, that’s what won us the game in the end, it doesn’t matter how you win games as long as you try your best to win games, it wasn’t so long ago Leicester won the league with 30 per cent possession.
“There’s different ways of winning games of football, we found a way on Saturday, if people don’t want to pay us the respect that we deserve, then so be it I don’t worry about that.”