Morecambe boss Bentley plays down Shrewsbury talk

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

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has played down speculation linking him with the vacant managerial role at Shrewsbury Town.

A fortnight ago Bentley was faced with stories he had apparently agreed to become Gary Brabin’s successor at Tranmere Rovers.

Morecambe FC co-chairmen Abdulrahman Al Hashemi, left, and Diego Lemos.

Morecambe FC co-chairmen Abdulrahman Al Hashemi, left, and Diego Lemos.

With Micky Mellon having left Shrewsbury to fill the vacancy at Prenton Park, Bentley is now odds-on with some bookies to move up a division with the Shrews.

Former Wolves manager Kenny Jackett and ex-Leeds United boss Steve Evans have also been mentioned in connection with the role.

“There’s nothing I can say,” Bentley said when asked about the speculation.

“I know there are rumours and it’s nice to be linked with jobs but all I’m interested in is doing my job with Morecambe and trying to win games.

“It’s been difficult, over the years, being one of the smaller clubs, but we have a new owner and the future looks like it’s bright.

“As far as I’m concerned there’s no approach; I haven’t heard anything and I’ve spoken to the owner.

“As far as I’m concerned, I have to report to the new owner; when a new owner comes in the expectation goes up and the plans for the future are big.

“I spoke to Diego (Lemos, co-chairman); I’m honest and open so I said ‘there are lots of rumours, have you heard anything?’ and he said ‘no’.”

The Shrewsbury speculation comes at a time when the Shrimps are embarking on a new era.

With Lemos having taken out a majority shareholding in the club, Abdulrahman Al Hashemi was named as the club’s new co-chairman last week.

While optimistic about the future may bring, Bentley was also keen to salute those who had been in charge as the club consolidated Football League status.

“My hat goes off to (long-time chairman) Peter McGuigan for what he’s done for this football club,” he said.

“There’s a new ambition going forward; it’s been a difficult last couple of years and the board have worked hard to make sure they can pay the wages.

“When something like this happens, there’s a new ambition and people get excited.

“There’s a vision and a plan and hopefully, over the coming years, whether I’m here or not, I want this club to progress and get up the levels – I want what’s best for the club.

“It’s not a case of coming in and throwing money at it; there’s got to be plans of how we can improve our fanbase and the squad.

“That’s what he’s trying to do; I’ve been in discussions with Diego over his plans and the future.”