Morecambe boss Bentley: Dagenham’s league form irrelevant in FA Cup

The Morecambe bench looks on at Plymouth.
The Morecambe bench looks on at Plymouth.

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley knows Dagenham & Redbridge’s lowly league position will be irrelevant when the two sides meet in the FA Cup on Saturday.

The old friends and League 2 rivals meet in the first round at Victoria Road with the hosts bottom of the division without a win at home all season.

But Bentley knows it all goes out of the window in the world’s most iconic cup competition.

He said: “It doesn’t matter who you get in the FA Cup, it’s all on the day.

“It doesn’t matter whether you get Didcot Town or Sheffield United they are all difficult games in the FA Cup.

“You’ve got to pay the opposition the respect they deserve.

“They’re struggling and haven’t won at home all season.

“But you’ve just got to look around the likes of (Ashley) Hemmings, (Ashley) Chambers and obviously Jamie Cureton. They’re good players who know the level.

“They can hurt anyone. They’re form hasn’t been great but it’s an important match for both clubs.”

The sides are no strangers to one another having come through the Conference together in 2007 and will get even more familiar over the next week or two with a league game between the sides at the Globe Arena following seven days later.

Bentley, who wants to see his side improve on two first round exits in the last two years, said: “We could play them potentially three times in 10 days.

“Whether it takes one game or two games I don’t really care as long as we get through because we haven’t done particularly well recently.

“I love the FA Cup. I loved playing in it and love managing in it.

“We’re desperate to get through and get in the hat for Monday night’s second round draw.”

The game marks the first in the start of a big month for The Shrimps who then travel to Rochdale in the area quarter-finals of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday night.

Bentley’s men have all eyes on Dagenham however as they look to bounce back from defeats against Leyton Orient and Plymouth.

The Shrimps boss said: “I don’t think we deserved to lose against Leyton Orient and we gave Plymouth a leg up with two early goals.

“It’s a little bit of a blow with the two defeats after such a good run but confidence is still high.

“Injury wise we’re looking okay going into a very testing time with the games coming up.

“We’re still involved in the JPT and everyone’s looking forward to the next month and the challenges that lie ahead.

“But first up is Dagenham and if you can’t get yourselves up for FA Cup games and what could potentially lie ahead then you shouldn’t be in the game.

“It’s a massive opportunity to get a round closer to a plumb tie with the big boys.”

Adam Dugdale, foot, and Peter Murphy, knee, are still a few weeks away from fitness.