Jim Bentley revels in Morecambe’s link-up with Lancaster University
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley believes the club’s link-up with Lancaster University is one of the fundamental reasons for their late-season results.
With two games of the season remaining, the Shrimps currently sit 18th in League Two following Monday’s 4-0 win against Cheltenham Town.
Training facilities – or lack of them – have been a long-standing Bentley bugbear with the Shrimps lacking a permanent base to call their own and having to ask favours of other clubs when the weather has adversely affected them in the past.
The club has been utilising the university’s facilities in recent weeks and Bentley believes the benefits are there for all to see with six victories and three draws in 13 matches.
He said: “A massive thing for me is being based at Lancaster University.
“Kim Montgomery (head of sport) and her team have done brilliantly to let us go up there every day, train there and get the facilities.
“It’s really, really top class and I’ve said all along, coming to the ground on matchdays at the moment seems like a proper matchday.
“You’re seeing people for the first time in a long time so you get chatting, there’s a feelgood factor.
“There’s a bit of spirit among the place and being based here every day, through the winter months, you’re coming into the same changing room, the same people; it’s nothing against the people who work here but being based away and being able to have the facilities that we’ve had at Lancaster Uni has been the biggest positive since I’ve been a manager.
“Long may that continue because I do think that goes hand in hand with the form that we’ve been showing of late at home.”
Easter Monday’s three points against Cheltenham made it 13 points from the last 15 at the Globe Arena.
Forest Green Rovers, MK Dons and Crawley Town were the other sides to be beaten there within the last six weeks.
It could have been five wins from five but for a late equaliser giving Grimsby Town a point earlier this month.
After a goalless first half, the Shrimps got in front through Vadaine Oliver before further goals from Kevin Ellison, Sam Lavelle and Aaron Collins wrapped up an emphatic victory.
“They are all chomping at the bit; the golden boot is still up for grabs,” Bentley said of the battle to be the club’s top scorer this season.
“I think Kev (Ellison) is on seven, A-Jay (Leitch-Smith) is still on six, I think Rhys Oates might be on six and Aaron Collins is on six.
“They all want to play, it’s a tough job at the minute to pick 11, a tough job at the minute to pick a bench but I’ve got to do what’s right by all concerned.
“It was nice to get Carlos (Mendes Gomes) back involved today; he’s been doing well.
“We have a reserve team game coming up and lads are asking to play in that so it just shows what type of spirit we’ve got at the minute.
“We want to finish the season strongly; I don’t like that label of being on the beach, just seeing the season out or running down time.
“That was a fully committed performance; we were beaten convincingly by the better side on Friday (Mansfield Town); they were fantastic on the day and we didn’t do ourselves justice but we bounced back in the right manner.
“It was nice to see Sam get his first goal of the season, nice to see Vadaine get on the scoresheet, Kev has been really unlucky; he had one ruled out for offside at Macclesfield that was onside and it could have been a different story.
“Aaron Collins keeps going and could have had a hat-trick today. He was one-on-one, took his goal superbly and missed a penalty so it’s all good.”