Morecambe boss Bentley ready for tough run-in

Paul Mullin celebrates his equaliser against Hartlepool.
Paul Mullin celebrates his equaliser against Hartlepool.

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley wants his players to build on last Saturday’s draw – despite having a less than ideal run-in until the end of the season.

The Shrimps ended their seven-game losing spell with the weekend’s 1-1 draw against Hartlepool United.

It leaves them sitting 19th in the League Two table, eight points clear of second-bottom Newport County AFC with five games remaining of the 

Those five matches see Bentley’s players come up against three sides in the play-offs – Stevenage, Luton Town and Exeter City – as well as Colchester United and Wycombe Wanderers, both of whom have designs on breaking into the top seven.

Stevenage is the Shrimps’ destination on Good Friday with the home side looking to bounce back from a 4-0 loss to Colchester last time out.

“Hopefully their bubble has burst,” Bentley joked on hearing that result.

“They are in and about the play-off positions but we have taken four points off Portsmouth this season and they’re in one of the automatic positions.

“Every team in the division is capable of beating everyone else so we’ll go to Stevenage and, hopefully, put more points on the board.”

Paul Mullin’s 10th goal of the season earned Bentley’s players a point after they trailed at half-time thanks to former Shrimp Padraig Amond.

Bentley had made five changes with one of his selections, Danijel Nizic, making his league debut.

The 22-year-old was handed a start after a wrist injury ruled out Barry Roche, who was due to hear the extent of his injury as the Visitor went to press.

Bentley said: “Dan did well; he’s a young lad who hasn’t played very much.

“He was in the youth team at Burnley, came here, and has been second choice behind Barry Roche.

“He has a good presence; first half, Ducky (Michael Duckworth), made a mistake and he came steaming off his line.

“We know there are things he needs to work on but there are areas where he excels.

“That’s where we’re at; we get these players and put them on a stage but that will have done him no harm.

“Baz made a save at Cheltenham and went for a scan which showed a problem with his cartilage.

“He will see a specialist and we will take it from there.”