Bennett relishing massive Pagham challenge

Mark Bennett is getting stuck into life at Pagham / Picture by Roger Smith

Mark Bennett is getting stuck into life at Pagham / Picture by Roger Smith

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Mark Bennett is relishing his return to management after taking the reins at Pagham.

The former Littlehampton boss, who won the Sussex League first-division title with Golds, says he can’t wait to get stuck into a ‘massive challenge’.

As reported last week, the Lions axed Jon Tucker and his assistant Dave Berkowitz, citing a poor run of results – just half a season after they had taken over.

Bennett, who has Richie Hellens at No2, said: “I didn’t realise until I came over here what a massive football club this is.

“It’ll be a massive challenge, but the club have massive potential and I’m delighted to be here.”

Bennett lost his first game in charge on Saturday at home to Worthing United, losing 3-2 after being 2-0 up at half time, but he was encouraged about the rest of the season.

I think it’ll take around five games for me to have a complete idea about what my strongest side will be.

He said: “I told the lads there were 48 points to play for, and I wanted us to get 40. Realistically, I just want to build their confidence up.

“We have some great young players here and a great youth team, so I really want that to prevail while I’m here.”

After the defeat to United, Bennett said he had a fairer idea on how many new faces to bring into the side.

He said: “We don’t need to make wholesale changes, but two or three would be nice. I’ve put in two seven day approaches, so hopefully we’ll have some new signings soon.

“I think it’ll take around five games for me to have a complete idea about what my strongest side will be.”

Bennett said: “In this league, there isn’t an outstanding team, and apart from a few, anyone can beat anyone.

“I’m still gutted about throwing away our lead on Saturday so we need to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Bennett hopes he can emulate his success at Littlehampton with his new employers. He said: “It’s early days but with some new signings we’ll look to push on next season.”

Pagham’s game at Uckfield Town on Tuesday night was postponed. They hope to visit Loxwood on Saturday.

OLIVER STEVENSON

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