Bentley: We have a score to settle with Fleetwood

Morecambe manager Jim Bentley.
Morecambe manager Jim Bentley.
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Morecambe have a score to settle with Lancashire rivals Fleetwood at the Globe Arena on Boxing Day according to boss Jim Bentley.

The Shrimps had a dismal time against the Cod Army last season losing 4-0 at home before a 1-0 reverse at Highbury 12 months ago.

And Bentley knows it will be no easier this year with Graham Alexander’s side having their eyes firmly set on promotion.

Bentley: “It (the Globe Arena game) was one of those games where any mistake we made was punished.

“And on the day big Jon Parkin put three in the back of the net through mistakes of our own.

“Fleetwood are what they are, they’ve got an ambitious chairman, a relatively new manager and they’ve assembled a fantastic squad with strength in depth.

“But it’s a derby match, it’s Boxing Day, we’ve got a little score to settle from last season so hopefully it will be a good game in front of a big crowd and hopefully we can take something from it.”

The players will go into the game having been given Christmas Day off, an experiment Bentley hopes will be pay off with a busy couple of weeks ahead for his squad with the Shrimps hosting Hartlepool at the Globe Arena on Sunday, December 29 after the visit of Fleetwood.

And a good run could see his side right in the thick of things at the top of League 2 come the turn of the year.

Bentley said: “In years gone by we’ve been in and I just think the travelling, the training, getting up early with the kids, your Christmas dinner and the family coming round becomes quite stressful.

“So we’ve decided to do a double day on Christmas Eve, get our preparation sorted and then give them Christmas Day off with their families to be a little bit more relaxed.

“We’ll ask them all to do their own thing. I don’t want them sitting round eating roast potatoes all day or drinking sherry!

“And then we’ll get in a little earlier on Boxing Day to go through a few things and hopefully it works well for us because it looks like Christmas Day will be the only one we’re having off.

“After Fleetwood, we’ll be in the 27th and 28th, there’s a game on the 29th (Hartlepool), in the 30th and 31st, game on the first, in the second and third and then a game on the fourth.

“I don’t think anyone will begrudge us having Christmas Day off with that kind of run.

“It’s a difficult run but if we can pick up some points you never know where we could be at the start of the January.”

It will also be a busy time off the field with Bentley looking ahead to the January transfer window and looking to tie down established players to new contracts.

He said: “We’ve got a couple of options and ideas and players in mind when it comes to strengthening the squad so hopefully we’ll be able to do something.

“Because I do think you need a fresh face or two, even if you’re top of the league I think it’s always nice to spice things up and a new face gives everyone a lift.

“With regards to the players we’ve already got, we’ve spoken to one or two and are hoping to speak to others but these things can take time.

“One or two will say yes straight away, one or two might be no and some others might wait and see what happens.

“That’s the way the game is now but we know who we need to speak to and what we want for next season.

“Talks have been ongoing for a few weeks now and I’m not the type of manager to let things run down because you run the risk of losing players.”