After the Final Whistle | Dan Bentley

Wolves goalkeeper Dan Bentley guides us through his usual post-match routines as he begins his recovery as soon as he steps off the pitch.

Back in the changing room

It depends on how the result has gone which would enforce what the reaction is in the dressing room. I’m one who doesn’t get too high or too sad, but at the same time, when you win a football match, it’s certainly worth celebrating and being happy about. Similarly, when you lose a game, there’s reasons to be disappointed and if things need to be said then they will be, but it’s about finding a middle ground.”

Reacting to a win or loss

“As I said, I try not to be too reactive in the changing room and try to stay balanced regardless of the result, but also, if I’m happy, I have every right to be happy if we’ve won a game, and if we’ve lost there will obviously be disappointed as well.”

Speaking to the press

“I have no issue with that at all. It’s something that I had the responsibility of doing quite a lot when I was captain at Bristol City. It was something that was bestowed upon me as captain in good and indifferent times. As captain, you would talk on behalf of the team when things aren’t so good, and it’s something that comes quite natural to me. I don’t mind speaking to the press, I don’t get awkward and I don’t mind portraying myself in the correct way and saying the right things.”

Starting recovery

“Some of it starts straight away and some of it starts after a few hours back at home. In terms of nutrition, it’s important to eat something as quick as possible and recovery shakes are something we do a lot straight after the game, which helps get the protein and carbs on board. The quicker you can get those on board as soon after the game has finished, the better chance you give yourself to recover quicker.”

Post-match food

“I tend to like something sweet after a game and I have a bit of a sweet tooth after a game as well because of all the adrenalin that’s running through me. I usually have a can of Pepsi Max, but I find that if I don’t eat something sweet fairly soon after the game – maybe 45 minutes to an hour – I end up having a bit of a sugar deficit where my body craves sugar to start my recovery process. If you win on a Saturday and know you’re going to have a few days off, then I don’t mind celebrating with a beer if the family are over, as I feel that has its place, or if you’ve not got a midweek game then I’d eat a takeaway or a Nandos and share some sweets with the kids.”

Getting over a defeat

“I take it on a game-by-game basis. I’m very self-aware and I’m my own biggest critic, so I’ll always analyse and have a look, but I don’t overanalyse after a defeat and pick the bones off it if the other team, on the day, were just better. I go through the good things that me and the team did well and the things we could have done better and then put it to bed as soon as we’re back in on a Sunday, Monday or a Tuesday, and then look ahead to the next game.”

Watching the game back

“Always. Regardless of the result, regardless of the performance, I always watch the games back, specifically my clips, and look to affect what’s in front of me and around me. If we win 3-0 and I keep a clean sheet, I’m sure there’s still things we can do better. Regardless of the result, you’ve always got to be looking at doing better.”

Social media reaction

“In football, everybody knows you’re very much in the social media eye, and everything we do is judged and criticised but it’s part and parcel of the job. I’ve got a very thick skin now, but when I was younger, I would look into it a lot more and it would have an impact on me, but now it has zero effect on me. I laugh at it now and think most of it is quite comical and light-hearted, and although social media has its positives, it really has its downfalls as well.”

Relaxing and recovering

“I’m very family orientated, so after a game, spending time with my family is the most important thing for me. We spend a lot of time away from our families in terms of overnight games away, so the hour I have with my kids when I get home from a game – although it’s usually dinner, bath and bed – I try to make the most of it. Usually, my family travel up from Essex for the game, so spending time with them is also of utmost importance for me.”

Talking it through

“The first person I speak to after the game has always been my goalie coach. I always want an instant debrief and that’s not emotional, but a very brief this was good, that was good, that could be better – whatever the case may be. There would sometimes not be a huge amount to say but I enjoy having a quick debrief and then it’s something I can put to bed before we go into more detail and have a full debrief a couple of days after.”