Jim Bentley makes Southport future admission

Southport manager Jim Bentley

Jim Bentley has admitted he would be open to extending his Southport contract – and revealed discussions are underway, hinting that a resolution could be ‘days or weeks’ away.

The Sandgrounders manager arrived in August following the departure of Liam Watson, in his third spell in charge, on a one-year deal.

Bentley, who has the likes of Morecambe and AFC Fylde on his managerial CV, enjoyed the ‘new manager bounce’ as they picked up five wins from their opening six.

Their formidable run saw them move clear of the relegation zone and within touching distance of the playoff positions.

In his opening 15 matches, Port have won eight, drew three and lost four. And at the end of October, the Big Help Group – spearheaded by Peter Mitchell – became majority shareholders of the club after reaching an agreement with Ian Kyle.

The feel-good factor has returned at Southport with results and performances posing promising signs. At a recent fan’s forum, one of the Yellows supporters in attendance demanded that movement was made to tie Bentley down to a longer deal, with the Port manager set to enter the final months of his short-term contract at the turn of the year.

The 47-year-old spoke of his happiness in the Haig Avenue hot seat and revealed that discussions are underway over fresh terms.

“We’re in discussions. When I signed it was only until the end of the year, it was in my contract that we would renegotiate later on in the season – that was more so under Ian Kyle,” he began speaking to Off The Park.

“We now have a different owner, I’m enjoying it, I’ve acclimatised to part-time football, it frustrates you at times but I’ve travelled for 30 years, it’s very different, a trip down a country road through Lydiate and places like that, I do quite like being local and representing one of my local clubs.

“It ticks a lot of boxes, it is positive, I do enjoy it. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll be here longer than first thought.

“The fans have been brilliant, they’re not a massive following but they are hardcore, they get behind the team and some of the travelling support has been absolutely superb,” Bentley added as fan demand for an extension increases.

“They have been brilliant with me since day one, I can’t thank them enough I just want to give them a team to be proud of.

“So far, so good, you can see that there’s an uplift in the feel-good factor, fans are getting behind us and long may that continue. We’ll see what happens over the coming days and weeks whether I’m here for longer than what I first thought.”

[Featured image: Julia Urwin – Southport FC]

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