Morecambe boss Bentley has injury concerns at the back

Ryan Edwards goes down injured at Fleetwood Town.
Ryan Edwards goes down injured at Fleetwood Town.
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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley is battling contrasting fortunes at either end of the field.

Defensively the Shrimps manager has key men missing but up top is spoilt for choice ahead of Cheltenham Town’s trip to the Globe Arena on Saturday.

At the back Mark Hughes will serve the second of a three-game ban while Ryan Edwards, cramp, and Andy Parrish, dead leg, went off in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win at Fleetwood on Tuesday night.

Bentley said: “We lost a couple of defenders (on Tuesday) but hopefully they will be alright.

“I think Ryan Edwards has got the best chance. He should be okay and we’ll see how Paz is.

“I thought Doyley went in there and was excellent again. That’s why you need a squad and we’ll miss the skipper for three games but there’ll be others who will be able to step into his boots and do the business.

“These things happen. You hope if you do get a couple of injuries or suspensions then they’re scattered round.

“But it just seems to be we’re struggling with regards to defenders at the moment with Wilson being out, Hughes being suspended, Paz missing the Cambridge game and now having a knock and Ryan Edwards missing a few weeks and then coming off the other night.

“We are a little bit disjointed and don’t have much consistency and continuity with regards to a settled back four.

“But they’ve done okay so far and we’ve got to make sure we continue with that.”

Bentley hasn’t ruled out moving into the loan market for cover but is confident he’ll soon be back to a full compliment.

He said: “We could use the loan window. It’s possible.

“But Ryan Edwards should go from strength to strength and Andy Parrish has got a dead leg so we’re hoping he’s going to be alright.

“Mark Hughes has already served one game of his ban and (Joe) Widdowson has come in (on loan from Bury) and done well.

“At the moment we’re not too bad, we’re stretched in defence but a week’s a long time in football. 
“We’ll always assess it, we’ll always have targets just in case and we’ll see what’s what from day-to-day.”

In terms of his forwards, Kevin Ellison and Paul Mullin are in fine goal scoring form in the league while Padraig Amond and Jack Redshaw staked their claims for starting spots with goals against Fleetwood.

That’s before Bentley even considers the options provided by Jamie Devitt and Jack Sampson.

The Shrimps boss said: “I always said I thought we’d score goals this season.

“Podge got two at Fleetwood so he’s on three for the season. He got two in the Lancashire Senior Cup as well against Blackpool.

“Redshaw’s scoring goals and playing well, Mullin’s scoring goals, Ellison’s scoring goals so I’ve got a massive headache going into the weekend.

“But I’d rather have it that way than not having the options.”