Morecambe boss Bentley: Relegation battle “takes over your life”

Jim Bentley salutes the Morecambe fans after the draw against Scunthorpe.
Jim Bentley salutes the Morecambe fans after the draw against Scunthorpe.

Jim Bentley admits Morecambe’s relegation battle is “taking over his life”.

The Shrimps boss in under real pressure for the first time in his three seasons in charge with the his side three points clear of the relegation zone with two games to play.

The former club captain confessed his side’s run of just two wins in 21 games had been a steep learning curve in his young managerial career.

Bentley, who takes his side to AFC Wimbeldon on Saturday knowing a point will all but ensure League 2 safety, said: “It’s not nice. It’s a test of your character.

“It’s a learning curve and you’ve got to embrace the challenge.

“It takes over your whole life. You wake up thinking about results and the family don’t get as much attention but you’ve got to keep battling through.

“You can’t feel sorry for yourself, you’ve got to get on and do the best job you can and keep your head down and keep working hard.

“The spirit is okay, we’ll have a couple of good days ready for Saturday and give it our best shot.”

The poor run of form, with the Shrimps looking for a first win in 10 when they visit the Dons on Saturday, has seen Bentley criticised by some supporters for his tactics and team selections.

It is something he is taking firmly on the chin.

Bentley said: “Hindsight’s a wonderful thing.

“Everyone’s got the players who they want to see playing.

“If we do okay, like we got a good draw against Scunthorpe, no-one mentions the subs then. How we changed the game with Sampson, Redshaw, Williams.

“But as soon as you get beat everyone questions the manager. I know that, I’ve picked that up over the last couple of years. That’s part and parcel of football.

“We are struggling so what do you do? Do you go out and open up and get after teams straight away and risk getting picked off. It’s about balance.

“It’s all very well people saying this and that but people don’t see what goes on in training.

“They don’t know what the bigger picture is, they don’t know who’s got niggles, they don’t know who hasn’t trained all week, so I’ve got the make the decisions and I’ve got to make them for the right reasons.

“I thought I’d made them for the right reasons on Monday and Friday but that’s football.”