Morecambe boss Jim Bentley hopes to continue the Shrimps’ feelgood factor

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Morecambe begin their 13th season as a Football League club on Saturday with boss Jim Bentley hoping players and fans can repeat last season’s mood at the Globe Arena.

The Shrimps welcome Grimsby Town for Saturday’s season-opening game, looking to continue the fine form which ended the 2018/19 season.

Seven wins and four draws from their final 15 games meant Bentley’s players ended the season in 18th place.

Four of those wins came at home with some attractive, entertaining football bringing three points against Forest Green Rovers, MK Dons, Crawley Town and Cheltenham Town.

The fans made their feelings known with standing ovations at the end of those wins and Bentley hopes to tap into that support again this season.

He said: “There was a feelgood factor around the club, certainly in the second half of the season.

“In the first half of the season, people forget that even though the results weren’t great, some of the football was excellent and the players were clapped off even though Tranmere and Oldham beat us.”

If Bentley is keen for a repeat of that support this season, one thing he is hoping to avoid is a repeat of last season’s defensive deficiencies.

The Shrimps conceded 70 goals in League Two last season with only Macclesfield Town (74) and Notts County (84) shipping more during the course of the campaign.

That is disappointing enough on paper but even more so considering almost a quarter of those goals – 16 in total – were scored inside the last 10 minutes of games and cost Morecambe 15 points.

“On some days it was a mistake at the back or a moment of brilliance from an individual player,” he said.

“You can be more vulnerable at the end of each half and more goals are scored in the last 10 minutes of games at any level.

“That’s something we’ll have to address; how we concede goals and, certainly, when we concede them.

“That’s what we want to try and sort out, making sure we finish off teams and then, at the other end, cutting out silly mistakes and being easy to score against.

“If we do that then we win more games and who knows where that takes us at the end of April?”