Bentley ready to get to grips with County

Jim Bentley gets up close and personal with Sol Campbell

Jim Bentley gets up close and personal with Sol Campbell

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Notts County visiting Morecambe brings back some funny memories for Shrimps boss Jim Bentley.

Their last trip to the resort in September 2009 became famous as Sol Campbell’s one and only game for the Magpies.

The most high-profile of a number of eye-catching signings at Meadow Lane the former England international arrived to much fanfare as he was brought to the club by then director of football Sven-Göran Eriksson.

But after one game at Christie Park, with then club captain Bentley scoring in a 2-1 Shrimps win, Campbell decided that League 2 wasn’t for him, walking out on his contract just a couple of days later.

Some think an iconic image from the day, right, showing the Shrimps boss getting up close and personal with the former Arsenal and Tottenham defender, had plenty to do with Campbell’s departure.

Speaking ahead of County’s visit to the Globe Arena on Saturday, Bentley said: “I thought it was a great day.

“Sven-Göran Eriksson was there with Tord Grip and everyone Notts County had at the time.

“People like to speak about my picture with Sol Campbell more than the goal I scored on the day!

“That picture is one of those that you look back on in years to come though.

“I was pleased to play my part in a big win for us, a fantastic occasion against the team at the time that 
everyone was tipping to really shoot through the leagues.

“It was good to come up against him because I do respect the fella, he was a fantastic centre half in the Premier League and at international level.”

There may not have the household names but current County boss Ricardo Moniz has overseen the latest major overhaul at Meadow Lane after the Magpies’ relegation from League 1.

They have failed to fire in the league this year but did impress in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night as they ran Aston Villa close before a 5-3 defeat in extra-time.

Bentley said: “They’ve signed (Izale) McLeod who is a top-class centre forward in the lower levels.

“He’ll be a big player for them. It looks like they’re going to play him alongside (Jon) Stead.

“I think the way they played against Aston Villa typifies the way they’ve been so far, good going forwards and conceding a couple at the back.

“They’ve got a massive squad, quite a few of them are unknown to us with a manager I’ve not come across before.

“We always expect a tough game but we’re at home and want to get more points on the board.”