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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Saturday, October 3rd 2020

‘Everyone is putting their bodies on the line for the cause’ – Bentley

Dan Bentley’s heroics helped City see out a fourth consecutive win in a 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest but the shot-stopper hailed a gritty team performance to secure another three points.

Bentley capped his 50th appearance for the Robins with five saves in all, the first being a headed effort from Alex Mighten, which he turned on to the upright and his last a close-range block from Lyle Taylor.

City opened on fire with two first-half goals - Chris Martin assisted both as Andreas Weimann and Nahki Wells provided the vital strikes before Luke Freeman’s well-hit shot halved the deficit.

Forest put City on the back foot in the second half but Bentley thwarted Taylor, Cyrus Christie and Jack Colback to help the Robins see out the win and remain top of the Sky Bet Championship.

“Every goalkeeper is paid to make saves, I’m there to keep the ball out of the net at all costs and everything else is a bonus,” Bentley told Robins TV. “If I can make saves like I did today, to help the team get three points and leave us in the position we are, that’s what I’m here to do.

“What I’m best at is getting in the way of the ball but I want to make everyone fully aware that it’s not just me blocking things, everyone is putting their bodies on the line.

“Alfie (Mawson), Taylor (Moore), Zak (Vyner), everyone who came on, everyone is putting their bodies on the line for the cause so for me to play behind that, that is a dream for me. Everyone is pulling in the same direction and doing their jobs, trying their best for the team which is great.”

He added: “This is a difficult place to come. They (Nottingham Forest) are in a bit of a false position, they’re not having the rub of the green but they’re a good team, a good group of players and I would be very surprised if they’re anywhere near their current position come the end of the season. It wasn’t pretty but we can say we’ve come here and ground out a result.”

City’s quick start was exactly what Head Coach Dean Holden had asked for in midweek and Bentley stressed the squad was proving itself as an aligned, tight-knit unit with momentum building in this early part of the season.

Bentley said: “He (Holden) been telling us about momentum and keeping everyone together, singing from the same hymn sheet. We’ve shown we can play very good football and kill teams, we’ve shown we can play backs to the wall, defend our box with bodies on the line and do the ugly side of the game."

It was exactly that kind of display which enabled the visitors to secure the hard-fought in the East Midlands. The Robins now head into the international break with four wins from their first four but the message remains the same – the squad will remain grounded.

Bentley reflected: “I think we’re rounded in our performances but we’re certainly not going to get complacent, not rest on our laurels and allow it to affect us mentally or on the pitch. There’s a long, long way to go…we’ve not achieved anything yet. We need to keep the momentum going, keep this form going into the next block of games.”

The international break follows next week, before City head to Oakwell to take on Barnsley (October 17th, 3pm), exclusively live on Robins TV. 

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