Bentley believes hard work is paying off for Morecambe

Alex Kenyon challenges Burnley's Dean Marney. Picture: Rob Lock
Alex Kenyon challenges Burnley's Dean Marney. Picture: Rob Lock

Morecambe manager Jim Bentley believes hard work is being shown in their pre-season performances so far.

Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Burnley continued the Shrimps’ unbeaten pre-season ahead of Saturday’s trip to FC Halifax Town.

Having taken the lead through Rhys Turner’s second-half header, Bentley’s players were pegged back when Aaron McGowan’s error was capitalised upon by Andre Gray.

It is the only goal the Shrimps have conceded in four pre-season matches so far with Bentley admitting defensive duties have dominated their training so far.

“It was a good night and a good workout in difficult conditions given the heat,” Bentley said.

“I thought we were very good in spells but I was very disappointed with regards to the goal we conceded.

“We’ve done an awful lot of work on our defensive shape which has worked quite well.

“We haven’t touched our attacking shape yet but we’ve still looked a threat so far.

“It was an easily avoidable goal but it’s a learning curve for our younger players at the club.

“We’re going to work with them, encourage them and improve them but that mistake was down to tiredness.

“The thing is, when you have tiredness, you start making errors and poor decisions and that happened with Aaron.

“Apart from that error, he produced a really solid performance.”

With the new season two-and-a-half weeks away, the plan now is to build up the squad’s playing time in the remaining friendlies.

Some played 90 minutes on Tuesday while others were given a breather for the last 20 minutes.

“We’ve got to start getting 90 minutes into players now,” Bentley acknowledged.

“You could see that Burnley made more changes than us earlier in the game with their tempo at the start of the second half but we acquitted ourselves well.”