Morecambe boss Bentley stands by Hughes after Twitter controversy

Morecambe captain Mark Hughes.
Morecambe captain Mark Hughes.

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has backed his captain Mark Hughes after a Twitter account in his name sent offensive messages to fans.

Hughes says the account was hacked with supporters in uproar after private messages were sent in the wake of the 3-2 defeat against Dagenham & Redbridge.

Bentley is now keen to draw a line under the matter after a controversial few days.

The Shrimps boss said: “I’m not one for social media myself so I don’t know all the ins and outs of it but after a little bit of digging it seems he had an account hacked.

“I spoke to Hughesy on Sunday night. He was out with his wife at the time having a meal and said he’d had a couple of text messages to say what had happened.

“I take his word on it and stand by him.

“He hasn’t been on Twitter for several months and unfortunately he’s had his name tarnished by this.

“I back him. I’ve listened to what he’s had to say and we got a statement out as soon as we could.

“Whether people believe it or not that’s up to them.

“The timing of it was bad because I don’t think Hughesy had one of his better games on Sunday. 
“He’ll be the first to agree.

“It’s unfortunate but we want to draw a line under it and move on.”

Bentley admits to not being a fan of social networks but knows full well about the dangers.

The Shrimps boss said: “It’s the way of the world at the moment.

“Everyone can say whatever they fell like behind a laptop, a mobile, an iPad or whatever.

“Years ago it would have been a case of going to confront the person face-to-face but it’s not the way now.

“As professional footballers they’ve got to make sure they do everything correctly though.

“Everyone knows the risks with social media if you step even slightly out of line.

“The FA can hit you, the club can hit you, you could lose your job over it.

“The players do get advised by the FA about what they can and can’t say.

“We have a meeting ourselves about bringing anything on the club or the person individually.

“There’s a fines system in place for anyone who is caught up in anything like that.”

The solution for managers like Bentley is far from clear cut with more issues sure to arise in the coming months and years.

He said: “I think it’s a bit harsh if you ban people all together because they (social networks) do play a big part in life in this day and age.

“It’s a good tool if you use it in the right way.

“It’s not for me but most the world are into it.

“It’s a very, very touchy thing because it only takes one person to say something slightly out of character and it can blow up into a big thing.

“In this case I stand by Hughesy who says he hasn’t tweeted anything.”