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Interview: Bentley out to match, then better, last season's start

18 August 2014

Goalkeeper Daniel Bentley is looking to match the start Southend United made last season on Tuesday night against AFC Wimbledon at Roots Hall.

Last season Phil Brown’s side won their opening three league games without conceding a goal, and following success against Stevenage and Accrington Stanley, that feat can be repeated against the Dons.

Blues’ shot-stopper doesn’t just want to match it, he is determined to better it, but knows they will be put to the test by Adebayo Akinfenwa, Matt Tubbs and Co. on Tuesday.

Bentley said: “Last season we made a great start but then went six games without a win so we’re not just looking to match the start we made, we’re wanting to better it.

“It has been the perfect start for myself so far. We’ve picked up six points from six and kept two clean sheets, which is the most important thing for me as a goalkeeper.

“We have picked up where we left off in that sense, with a strong clean sheet mentality that doesn’t just come from the back five, but the whole team which is vital.

“I had a couple of saves to make against Stevenage in the first-half, but it’s my job to make those stops. The lads did brilliantly to limit the opposition to so few chances throughout.

“We know the sort of threat AFC Wimbledon will pose. Matt Tubbs has scored in every game so far this season and links up well with Akinfenwa, but I’m determined to end his run on Tuesday night and pick up another clean sheet.”

Blues’ boss Brown said after the game against Stevenage that his side still had plenty more to give, despite two wins and two clean sheets, and Bentley backed up his manager’s claims.

He added: “That’s definitely the case. The most important thing at this stage is to get the points on the board. Performances will improve as the season progresses.

“The performance against Accrington Stanley wasn’t great but we got the three points. We showed a bit more quality against Stevenage and I’m sure we’ll keep getting better.

“All over the pitch we’re full of confidence at the moment. We got a couple of great goals against Stevenage and of course, got the clean sheet too.

“If we can up the performance levels again against AFC Wimbledon then I’m sure we can make it three from three, hopefully in terms of both wins and clean sheets.”

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