Jim Bentley: Morecambe boss says he's up for the fight

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley.
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley.

Jim Bentley says he’s up for the fight as the Morecambe boss looks to kickstart his side’s stuttering season.

Three straight defeats have left The Shrimps nine points shy of the play-off places ahead of Portsmouth’s visit to the Globe Arena.

Bentley particularly vented his anger at his players after the loss to Mansfield, as his side saw a 1-0 lead evaporate in the final five minutes last Tuesday night.

Some saw the frustration as a sign of The Shrimps boss running out of patience but he says it couldn’t be further from the truth.

Bentley said: “I would never walk away from this football club.

“If they want to push me and the fans aren’t happy fine. Some people haven’t been happy with me from day when I first signed. I remember people caning me as a player.

“But it happens and you just keep going.

“We’re 15th in the league and first and foremost we have to stay in this division.

“I’ve never said that’s all we’re trying to do. I’ve set targets for the lads this season to get in the play-offs because every now and then in any division someone overachieves.

“Look at Leicester and fair play to Accrington who are doing fantastically well.

“It does happen and that’s the belief you should have going into any season.”

As well as the club itself Bentley says some of his players are fighting for their own futures as they look to turn around Morecambe’s fortunes.

He said: “We’re a little bit depleted and we look like we need freshening up but the players who are here are going to go out and really fight.

“Even for their own individual futures. A lot of our squad at the moment are out of contract and they’ve got to go and put their foot on the gas.

“Whether it be that they stay here or move on they’re professional footballers and they want to stay in the game. They’ve got to keep going, stick together and keep working hard and sooner rather than later your luck changes.”

Bentley’s cause would have been aided by an ability to bring in more players during January.

Just Kieran O’Hara and Luke Conlan have arrived on loan due to a tight budget but The Shrimps boss insists his relationship with Peter McGuigan is as strong as ever.

Bentley said: “I’ve got great respect for him, have a fantastic relationship with him and we’re doing our best.

“He’s built the stadium, we’ve been promoted to the Football League and are established as a League 2 club.

“It might get worse before it gets better but I’m confident we’ll carry on going.

“The board have always given me what they can and are working hard to get investment.

“Can you sustain being a Football League club getting the crowds that we are?

“You can’t keep asking people to put money in their pockets or you end up like a Rushden and Diamonds or a Scarborough.

“They’re doing all they can to improve us and I’m doing all I can to improve us.”