What Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder had to say about Jim Bentley, his counterpart at AFC Fylde

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has revealed he once tried to sign Jim Bentley, his opposite number at AFC Fylde, as the two men prepare their sides for tomorrow’s FA Cup tie at Bramall Lane.
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Describing Bentley’s achievements in charge of former club Morecambe as “huge”, Wilder confirmed the 43-year-old was a target for Halifax during his spell in charge at The Shay over a decade ago.

“I know Jim well,” Wilder said. “I tried to sign him when I was at Halifax and he was at Morecambe. He’s a really great guy and was a really good player. I’ve had some great battles with him.”

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Bentley made nearly 300 league appearances for the The Shrimps before taking charge in 2011.

He spent another eight years at the club, maintaining their League Two status despite one of the lowest budgets in the division.

Having tendered his resignation, Bentley and his assistant Ken McKenna were unveiled by Fylde earlier this term.

“He stayed loyal to Morecambe,” Wilder, who also praised McKenna’s contribution, continued. “He could have moved, probably, on half a dozen occasions. For Morecambe to stay in the Football League, for all those seasons, is a huge achievement.”

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Bentley will have three former United players at his disposal for the trip to South Yorkshire, with Andy Taylor, Mark Yeates and Danny Philliskirk, who played under Wilder at Oxford, all on the books of the Conference outfit.

“I know Danny really well. I had him on loan as a young lad at Chelsea and I played with his dad (Tony) as well,” Wilder, himself a former United player, said.