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MUST READ! Wayne Benn and Craig Denton…head to head!

It’s sure to be a massive Toolstation NCEL Premier Division collision this weekend, when third-placed Hemsworth Miners Welfare welcome fourth-placed Worksop Town to the Distant Futures Stadium in Fitzwilliam. There’s bound to be a decent crowd too, so the Bootiful Game decided to take the early opinions of two of the Divisions’ most highly regarded Managers, Wells Wayne Benn and the Tigers’ Craig Denton, who are both keen to welcome partisan and neutral fans alike to Hemsworth on Saturday, write Craig Kendall, Ellie Dalglish and Colin Muncie for the Bootiful Game.

Benn on Denton…

Wayne Benn ponders…

I don’t know Craig personally so it’s hard to comment on his management style. He’s a bit quieter on the side-line than I am but then most people are (laughs). What you have to say is that he’s doing a great job. He’s got them right in the mix and they, along with several sides, are in with a shot of promotion. For that, Craig and his staff – deserve great credit. Having been involved with the club before he would have known how things work and would have known, more than most, what to expect, but fair play to the lad for taking on the challenge.

Denton on Benn…

Craig Denton, Worksop Town manager.

You can see what the team is like up there and that’s testament to Wayne, his management team and staff at the club. He’s been around that club as Manager between five and six years and the club has given him that time to build a strong side. With the resources he’s got he’s done a great job because he’s up there in the mix of things.

Benn on Worksop Town…

His team plays differently to mine, they are quite direct, but that doesn’t mean I’m right and he’s wrong, it’s about what suits your players best. There are quite a few teams play that way in this League – and Ponte won the League last year by playing that way – so there is no right or wrong, and clearly the way Craig has his lads going about things is working for them.

It was always going to take Worksop a bit of time to fully get into their stride. A new Manager, lots of new players, it takes time to gel but they are doing very well of late, and in as good form as anyone at the minute and in the mix for promotion and that’s all you can hope for at this stage of the season.

Denton on Hemsworth Miners Welfare…

People can talk about budgets and the player pull and attachment area and Wayne’s done that. I think Wayne has a healthy budget, like us and the teams in and around us. He’s really reaping the rewards of the club standing by him and not making any knee-jerk reactions. The longevity has shown that Wayne’s doing a great job.

Benn on Hemsworth‘s season so far…

I have to be happy with where we are at. Last week’s defeat to Penistone when 2-0 up really hurt, but then we go beat the leaders 4-1 and that in a nutshell sums us up. We are capable of beating anyone in the division but occasionally we will throw in a really poor performance and let ourselves down. We are one of a number of teams in the mix, but we know we have some points to claw back on some of the teams around us. To do that we will have to be more consistent than we have been over the remaining 13 games, but we are more than capable of putting a really good run together. Such is the nature of this league, there will be teams around us who will inevitably drop points, probably when you least expect them to, so we will keep pushing on and see what happens.

Denton on Worksop’s season so far…

I’m absolutely delighted, to be honest. When I first came to the club, aims and objectives were clearly outlined and stated and currently I’m achieving those. What sometimes goes amiss is the other stuff that’s happening as well, such as our fantastic Under-19s. I’ve brought Aiden into the football club. Aiden Stowage is the Under 19s Manager and we’ve been able to see a good transition with a couple of Under-19s getting into the Worksop first team.

I try to look overall as to how I’m doing and I think I’m doing well. I think staff and players at the football club are all buying into it so I’m really positive. I just want to kick on now to see if we can really test ourselves and try to aim for that top spot, which everybody wants.

The next two or three games are going to be key. If we lose on Saturday, I’m not saying we’re totally ruled out of it. I think if we collect points from the next couple of games we’re right in the mix. I’m delighted with our progress so far.

Benn on Saturday’s game…

Saturday is an important game with Worksop breathing down our necks and, with games in hand for them, it’s probably more important that we win the game. It doesn’t get much tougher than Penistone, Ammers, Worksop and then Barton but if we perform like we did last week then we will give ourselves a great chance of winning another big game. It will be a different test for sure, but it’s one my players are more than capable of passing. It should be a cracking game and I really hope that the Worksop fans travel across in numbers, our fans turn out in force, and between them make it a really good atmosphere.

Denton on Saturday’s game…

They were at our place and collected the points earlier on in the season and we saw out a victory when we ousted them in the Cup. Both teams can beat each other on the day. It’s going to be a really close game. I know that Hemsworth have got some good, strong, key players who can punish you on their day, but so have we.

We’ve got some in-form players, such as Matt Sykes. We’ve got two or three coming back from injury. We’re looking quite strong in terms of the squad so I’m backing ourselves to go and get a result, get those points. I think if we put in a performance as we have in recent weeks – and I know we can – we’re going to make it really difficult for Hemsworth.

We’re certainly not ruling out what they’re creating and what they can bring. We’ve got to be right on the money and we’ve got to do things right.

There you have it. It’s sure to be a terrific afternoon in Fitzwilliam. If you can’t make it, follow the game @thebootifulgame on Twitter.

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