Bentley: Looking after small squad key to keeping Shrimps run going

Jim Bentley.
Jim Bentley.

Jim Bentley knows managing his small squad will be key to continuing Morecambe’s fine form during a busy October.

After an eventful week which saw the Shrimps stun league leaders Chesterfield and exit the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on penalties against Carlisle Bentley’s side travel to Bury on Saturday.

They then have a Tuesday night trip to Cheltenham sandwiched between games against AFC Wimbledon and Accrington Stanley at the Globe Arena.

The Shrimps boss said: “It’s usually this stage of the year where you start having to make more changes with injuries and suspensions as the bookings start totting up.

“I said before the month it’s going to be very tough.

“There’s not much travelling, only Cheltenham, compared to what we had to do in the first month or two with the four overnight stays at Southend, Newport, Portsmouth and places like that.

“In that respect it’s not too bad but certainly with the six games it’s a busy month.

“We’ve got to make sure we manage the squad and do what’s right by them.

“We can’t just keep playing them for 90 minutes every game and we might have to rest one or two and rotate the squad a little bit.

“We did on Tuesday (against Carlisle) and the lads came in and had a good pop at it so we’ll address the situation and see what’s what ready for this Saturday.”

Despite long-term injuries to Jack Redshaw, Chris McCready and Marcus Marshall Bentley has been able to field a fairly settled side with the Shrimps last tasting defeat in League 2 on August 17 at Portsmouth.

Bentley said: “I think when it’s Saturday to Saturday it’s a lot easier but obviously with the big game on Tuesday and the efforts the lads have put in on Saturday I know from past evidence that the next game is the one that makes a difference.

“We do the heart rate readings and everything else so we know how to manage them it’s just getting the balance right.

“Whatever team goes out there on Saturday will be fired up and ready and raring to go and hopefully we can get a result.

“It’s a difficult place to go but we shouldn’t fear anyone at the moment.”

On the injury front McCready and Redshaw continue to make good progress and are slated for a November, rather than December, return.

Marshall is still struggling to shake off a persistent hamstring problem however.

Bentley said: “Marcus isn’t far away but he’s got a problem with his lower back which is causing the hamstring problem.

“It’s something do with the contraction of his muscle not switching off so it’s just how we deal with that.

“Hopefully we can get him back in the frame sooner rather than later.”