Bentley: All the pressure is on Portsmouth

Jim Bentley has a word with Joe Mwasile during the draw with Torquay.
Jim Bentley has a word with Joe Mwasile during the draw with Torquay.

Jim Bentley says he doesn’t feel under pressure to pick up a first League 2 win of the season at Portsmouth on Saturday.

The Morecambe boss will take his side south for the first-ever meeting between the two sides with both looking for a first league victory of the new campaign.

And Bentley believes all the pressure is on Guy Whittingham’s Pompey in front of what will be a bumper Fratton Park crowd.

He said: “I don’t feel the pressure to get the first win.

“I was disappointed with the performance at Wycombe, we maybe could have snatched a point.

“For large spells we were okay against Torquay but overall I was a little bit disappointed, so we haven’t got going yet.

“But in between that we’ve had a victory against Wolves which has given everyone a massive boost.

“We’ve won one, lost one and drawn one of our first three games so there’s plenty of room for improvement but we’re better off than a lot of other clubs are.

“Portsmouth haven’t won yet, the expectation will be on them, the home crowd will be expecting that we’re going to turn up and they’ll just take the three points but we’re capable of causing anyone an upset and capable of winning any game at this level which we’ve proven in the past and Saturday will be no different.

“We’ll be positive and three points or even one point will be good.”

The Shrimps boss admitted the Portsmouth game was one that players and staff alike have looked forward to with the 2008 FA Cup winners favourites to bounce back to League 1 under fan ownership after years of financial problems.

Bentley said: “Portsmouth’s a big game, one that you look for in the calendar.

“I don’t think many of our players have been there, I certainly haven’t, so it’s good to go to what we’d call a Premiership set up and I’m sure the surface is good and we can go there and play our stuff and do our thing and come away with something.”

Robbie Threlfall returned to training on Thursday after a thigh injury and could return to the squad.

Marcus Marshall and Kevin Ellison are back running having struggled with hamstring problems and could also feature.

Chris McCready is the least likely to be involved as he continues his recovery from ankle surgery.