Bentley confident Morecambe squad will come together quickly

Jim Bentley. Picture: Matt Rushton
Jim Bentley. Picture: Matt Rushton

Jim Bentley hopes to have a couple more new signings through the door by the end of the week.

Morecambe return to pre-season training on Tuesday with just 12 players under contract as The Shrimps boss undertakes the biggest reshuffle of his five years in charge.

Former loanee Luke Conlan and Accrington defender Dean Winnard are the two confirmed new arrivals with Bentley confident his new-look squad will come together sooner rather than later.

He said: “We’ve still got to do a lot of business in all areas.

“We’ve done a little bit so far and they’ll be one or two more this week.

“Slowly but surely it will come together.

“It’s been a different window.

“There’s been targets that we’ve missed out on but over the next couple of weeks we’ll get a squad together.

“We’ll have trialists in over pre-season and no matter what we’ll have a squad ready and raring to go that will be competitive.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead.”

Bentley has traditionally had the majority of his business done ahead of his players returning for pre-season but that isn’t the case this time around as Morecambe look to bounce back from a poor second half of the season that saw them finish 21st in League 2.

He said: “It’s been tough.

“There’s players that have left the club that we didn’t want to go.

“We’ve done an awful lot to try and keep a couple of them.

“It’s not nice when you have players who do well for you and you try and keep them but they move on.

“That’s football, that’s life and you’ve got to get on with it.”

The most high profile of the departures were star attacking duo Shaun Miller and Jamie Devitt, the pair having joined League 2 rivals Carlisle.

Bentley said: “They did well together.

“Shaun got 16 goals for us and Jamie Devitt 20 assists and they did seem to have that relationship on the pitch.

“They were two big players for us and they were two players amongst others who we wanted to keep at the club but for one reason or another it hasn’t happened.

“You can’t dwell on the past and they’ve gone to the same club. Fair play to them it looks like Carlisle are very ambitious this season.

“If I was the management side of Carlisle I’d be looking at how Shaun Miller scored his goals and how he had his chances created.

“I’m sure they’ll do well there but that’s them and we’re concentrating on ourselves.

“We wish Jamie and Shaun and the likes of Shaun Beeley, Adam Dugdale, Andy Parrish and Alan Goodall all the best in their futures.

“But as manager of this football club my focus is on getting the lads at it and getting more people into the football club.”