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James Crawley

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Posted Tuesday, October 1st 2019

Bentley relishing return to former stomping ground

Daniel Bentley discusses the “romance” of facing his former club with City hitting the road in midweek to face Brentford at Griffin Park.

Wednesday night’s trip to the capital means Bentley’s first return to his old stomping ground since the summer move to BS3.

The shotstopper has worked hard to earn his place between the sticks, becoming a regular in Lee Johnson’s side and playing a major role in the Robins’ eight-game unbeaten run.

“Yes, It’s obviously a little bit more romantic but for me, in terms of my mentality going into the game,” he said. “It’s business as usual and that might sound cliché, that might sound something I feel I have to say. I don’t – that’s just how it is for me.

“I’ve got a lot of friends at Brentford, there’s good people there but the most important thing and my sole focus is helping Bristol City achieve what we want to achieve. That’s why I’m here, that’s what I want to do.

“I want to help the lads and do as much as I can so yes in a way it’s another game but of course there is a little bit of the romantic side in which I’m going to see a few familiar faces. Obviously it’s a place where I had a good three years and built some good friendships and bonds with people and the fans as well so it will be nice to go back, say hello but like I say, it’s business as usual and I’m not going to the game with any other mentality than what I have for the last ten games.”

Bentley has sat down with his goalkeeping coach, Pat Mountain, now City have played ten games (including the Carabao Cup). It has proved a good time to review the season so far and as Bentley admits, he is his “biggest critic.”

“Obviously there are bits that we do day in, day out which are I feel I need to improve, bits that the staff and management and Pat individually think that I might need to improve but based on our conversation we are happy with how things are going,” Bentley said.

“Obviously there is certainly room for improvement in certain aspects but on an individual note I’m happy with how things are going and I feel happy at the football club as well and playing is a major part of that.

Pat Mountain, left.

“It’s nice to have the feedback from the goalkeeper coach, he’s happy with me as well but again it’s not something that I’m going to start resting on my laurels or think I’ve cracked it, the hard work continues and I’m on the right line. So, I’m really happy, happy with playing, happy personally and the team are in a strong position as well. We are in a good place as a team and I feel in a good place individually as well.”

And City head to Brentford knowing they will be backed by a sold-out away end with City supporters making the trip east along the M4 motorway.

It’s something which does not go unnoticed by the players and Bentley was keen to acknowledge the “impressive” nature of the club’s fans.

“That’s amazing to see,” he said. “I know Bristol isn’t exactly close to anywhere [we play], it’s not like we are playing a local team. Brentford is still two-and-a-half hours away from here!

“Brentford is a Wednesday night, it’s not a Saturday where people can spend the weekend in London! It’s finish work and get straight up on the train or drive, whatever the case may be, so from our point of view it’s really impressive that we keep getting such big numbers of travelling support and following that we get and the voices that we hear supporting us at these away grounds.

“It’s really impressive and it’s nice to have that support with us, especially when you go to somewhere like Brentford which is a little bit of the Lion’s Den: It’s old, it’s tight, the home crowd can be quite hostile at times, dependant on how the game is going, so to have those kinds of numbers behind us is really impressive and as a group we are really appreciative of the support we get on a regular basis.”

Wednesday’s Sky Bet Championship fixtures will be streamed live to domestic-based supporters on Robins TV as it falls outside of the broadcast blackout hours.

As the match is a sell-out, tickets are no longer available for away supporters but tickets remain on sale to for City’s home match versus Reading on Saturday (October 5th, 3pm KO).

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Watch: Dan Bentley previews the midweek trip to Brentford