Morecambe boss Bentley wants three more wins

Paul Mullin is congratulated on his goal against Mansfield.
Paul Mullin is congratulated on his goal against Mansfield.

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley is targeting three more wins before the end of the League Two season.

The Shrimps head to Cheltenham Town on Saturday on the back of six straight defeats, the latest being last weekend’s 3-1 home loss against Mansfield Town.

That series of results constitutes their worst run of consecutive losses since the 2000/01 season.

That slump has seen Morecambe drop to 19th in the table with seven games left, though 13 points clear of the bottom two.

Nevertheless, Bentley wants another nine points from the final seven games to maintain his average points haul since becoming manager in 2011.

Forty-six points this season matches last season’s tally, with 56, 58, 54 and 63 points claimed in the previous four campaigns.

Bentley said: “If you look back to what’s gone on and the amount of people saying that staying in the league is job done, we know we average 55 points a season.

“That’s three more wins this season and that’s the target; three wins from the final seven games.

“I want to get up the table and get points on the board; I can understand people’s frustrations because there were a couple of boos at the end but there is a bigger a picture people have to look at.

“We have everything stacked against us but we need to make sure we can improve in all areas.”

Having had such a good start to 2017, March has been a month to forget for everyone at the Globe Arena.

February’s run of eight games, coupled with half-a-dozen this month, as well as injuries and suspensions, have taken their toll on Bentley’s squad.

The hope is that Ryan Edwards will have recovered from the knee injury which kept him out last weekend in time for Saturday’s trip to Gloucestershire.

It’s also hoped that Alex Kenyon will be able to figure, though Luke Conlan’s availability depends on the severity of the knee injury he picked up last Saturday.

“Everyone is a bit down and confidence is a bit shot but I’m pleased we haven’t got a midweek game,” he admitted.

“We have injuries and the last two months have been a slog so there is a lot to take on board.

“It’s been very frustrating and it’s a difficult time for us.

“We’ve only got 19 senior players and, within that, there is Antony Evans who is only 18 years old and from Everton.

“We have players who need a rest as well as injuries and suspensions.

“I could stand here and talk about what’s been a difficult season on and off the field.

“I tried my best in January to get players in but, because of the situation at the club, other clubs didn’t want to do business because they didn’t think we could pay them or players looked at the situation and were thinking they didn’t want to come here.”