The National League North club parted ways with Liam Watson earlier this month, the legendary Port boss moving upstairs at Haig Avenue and it was he who convinced manager Bentley to try and turn things around.
The Merseyside club have lost 14 of their last 15 games over the two seasons and sit bottom of the fledgling table with just one point to show for their efforts.
Bentley, the former Morecambe, Rochdale and AFC Fylde manager, says he is more determined than ever to succeed in management and after under-going heart surgery in 2020 he says his time away from football has left him hungrier than ever.
“I got a phone call from Liam Watson after he stepped aside and he asked if I was interested,” the 47-year-old former centre-half said. “Since then it’s followed on, I was at the game against Chorley on Monday, and now here I am.
“It might get worse before it gets better, but we don’t know what’s around the corner. We’ve got to pull together - fans, players and staff. We need to work on our weaknesses and play to our strengths. We’ve got to find ways to win matches quickly.
“I want to be successful, I want to rebuild myself again. I’ve had health issues and hopefully we can find a way together to be successful. Southport is a fantastic club. When things aren’t going well, you know where your true supporters are and we need to all be united in the cause.”
Chairman Ian Kyle said: “We are really pleased that Jim is coming on board and looking forward to seeing him stamp his personality throughout the club.
“He is aware of the challenges that he faces after the poor start but, having spoken to him at length since Liam stepped aside we are certain we have the right man in place to move us forward.
“It is an exciting appointment for Southport and I hope everyone will give Jim a special welcome when we introduce him to the home fans at our game against Scarborough next Tuesday. A special thanks to Andy and Morgs for stepping in in the interim period”