Bentley: Northampton have signed some big names

Ryan Cresswell.

Ryan Cresswell.

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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley believes Northampton have the most experienced squad in League 2.

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder has recruited some of the division’s bigger names over the summer with his side a world away from the one that narrowly avoided relegation out of the Football League last season.

Their form has however been patchy and they sit ninth ahead of the game at the Globe Arena on Saturday after a remarkable 5-4 loss at home to Accrington Stanley last time out.

Bentley said: “We’ve looked at the squad they’ve got and it’s very big and probably the most experienced in the league.

“They’ve invested and they’ve got some big names on big contracts.

“(John-Joe) O’Toole was probably Bristol Rovers’ best player last year, Marc Richards has been one of the best League 2 centre forwards for the last couple of years, they’ve recently signed Ryan Cresswell from Fleetwood and apart from that they’ve got a good blend of experience in the likes of (Chris) Hackett and youth in the likes of (Ivan) Toney, who’s definitely in my opinion going to go onto the bigger stage.

“They’ve started a little bit up and down, they’re searching for that consistency that every club is after but it will be a tough task for us.”

Bentley has plenty of admiration for Wilder who he’s come up against regularly down the years.

He said: “I know Chris very well, since the Conference days when he was at Halifax.

“I’ve been in his company quite a few times and he’s a great fella, I’ve got a lot of respect for him.

“He made the decision to leave top of the table to go to bottom of the table but it seems to have worked out well for him.

“Six months down the line Northampton are certainly going in the right direction.

“They’re a big club at this level and rightly they were one of the favourites before a ball was kicked but they’re very up and down at the moment and hopefully we can catch them on a good day.”

The Shrimps boss is pleased to be back at home after narrow away defeats against Mansfield and AFC Wimbledon.

Bentley said: “I don’t think we played particularly well against Mansfield for one reason or another but against Wimbledon we deserved something.

“We created good chances and on another day we could easily have scored one or two.

“It’s disappointing and it takes the wind out of your sails.

“But we’ve been decent at home this season and it’s another tough game against big opposition.

“It’s good to be back in front of our home fans and hopefully we can get back to winning ways.”