Bristol City boss Lee Johnson has revealed that goalkeeper Dan Bentley missed his side’s 1-1 draw with Millwall as a result of the injury he suffered during Tuesday night’s defeat to Huddersfield.
The Millwall clash represented the first time Bentley has missed a league game for the Robins since his summer move from Brentford, with the 26-year-old forced to watch on as his team-mates battled to a hard-fought 1-1 draw against the Lions.
Pedro Pereira had put City in front after just 10 minutes before a Tomas Kalas own goal levelled the scores in the second period, but after the game attention to why Johnson had made the call to start with Niki Maenpaa between the sticks ahead of Bentley.
Speaking to Bristol Live, Johnson confirmed that Bentley’s absence was due to the groin injury he sustained during the week, and the Robins’ first-choice goalkeeper was eventually deemed unfit to play this weekend following Friday’s training session.
“Bentley picked up a groin niggle in the Tuesday game so we tried him yesterday: he could kick it only up to the halfway line and do everything else,” Johnson said.
“I did contemplate having him on the bench but if he had come on at two minutes then someone would have had to kick for him so that isn’t ideal. It was better served to go with Niki and Jojo [Wollacott].”
Bentley has made a total of 37 appearances for the Ashton Gate outfit since his summer switch, with the stopper having registered 10 clean sheets during his impressive debut season in the south west.
Can you score maximum points in this Bristol City quiz? Have a go now!
It would have come as a blow for City to have been without the services of Bentley against Millwall given his solid form this season, but Maenpaa provided solid cover for the 26-year-old despite one or two shaky moments at The Den.
The good news for the Robins is that it does not appear Bentley will be on the sidelines for too long, and he may even be expected to make his comeback when Johnson’s side welcome promotion-chasing Fulham to Ashton Gate next weekend.
It is definitely important that City have Bentley fit for the final run-in this campaign, with the Robins remaining firmly in contention for a play-off spot despite their concerning dip in form of late.