Express & Star

Wolves keeper Dan Bentley sends message to Wolves fans

Dan Bentley believes Wolves’ success this season is ‘just the start’ for Gary O’Neil’s side.

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Wolves were widely tipped to struggle this campaign after selling a number of players and seeing head coach Julen Lopetegui walk away just days before the first game.

But the team’s resurgence under O’Neil has resulted in a good campaign so far, which was improved by Tuesday’s scrappy 1-0 win over Burnley.

“Look at our league position and the points we have accumulated so far this season, I think this is just the start for this team,” Bentley said. “We’re getting better and better. The manager is bringing his ideas to us on a daily basis, we’re slowly making it a habit and he’s not having to tell us so much anymore.

“For us to get where he wants us to get will take time and there’s been a transitional period for sure, but in the process of that you’ve got a squad which are battling for every single ball, for each other and for the staff, the club and the fans.

“It’s a really positive place to be.”

Bentley, who came on in first half for the injured Jose Sa against Arsenal at the weekend, was handed a chance from the start on Tuesday with the Portuguese shot-stopper sidelined.

The number two has waited patiently for his opportunity and caught the eye with a sublime double save to keep the score at 0-0.

Bentley added: “It’s great to contribute positively with clean sheets. It’s ideal for the team, so long may it continue.

“I work tirelessly at the training ground every single day in my preparation and my work all leads towards being ready in the 22nd minute at the Emirates when Sa got injured.

“I got another chance tonight and would like to think I gave a good account of myself on both occasions, so we’ll see where it takes me.

“Sa gave himself the maximum amount of time to try and be involved, which I totally understand as he obviously doesn’t want to give his shirt up. I prepared as if I was going to play, as I do for every single game regardless of whether my name is in the XI or not.”

O’Neil was very complimentary of Bentley after both games, but with Sa aiming to be fit to play against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, the head coach will be left with a difficult decision to make.

However, with Sa’s absence, O’Neil was confident in giving Bentley that opportunity and had no doubts over the goalkeeper’s ability to step up and perform, despite his limited minutes.

“That’s testament to the work I do every day,” Bentley said. “If he has that opinion of me and trusts me in that way, then I’m probably doing something right.

“I’m happy he has that opinion and I like to think I’ve earned that opinion with my work, attitude and application on a daily basis.

“That allows me to perform when called upon.”