Bentley’s pride in stretched Morecambe squad

Lewis Alessandra battles in the air against Torquay.
Lewis Alessandra battles in the air against Torquay.
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Jim Bentley praised his side’s efforts despite ending their home League 2 campaign with defeat to Torquay.

Morecambe fell 2-0 as the Gulls picked up three vital points in their relegation battle but the Shrimps boss insisted he was proud of his stretched squad.

Chris Doyle’s sending off on 23 minutes meant the home side were up against it for long periods of the game but they battled hard at the Globe Arena on Saturday.

Bentley said: “The changing point was the sending off early doors and it was always going to be an uphill battle against a team fighting for their lives.

“When you’ve got Fenton, Parrish, Haining and McCready out you’ve lost all your recognised centre halves but I thought Drummy (Stewart Drummond) did well today and Andy Wright did well when he went in there, as did Andy Fleming at right back.

“We had a go, we worked hard and gave it our all and on another day with a bit of luck, or if we got what I thought was a stonewall penalty, we might have got ourselves back on level terms.

“They can be proud of their performance, there were some very strong individual performances today.

“Unfortunately we haven’t finished off our home campaign with a positive result but I think the Morecambe fans will be proud of their team’s efforts.”

Bentley revealed post match that defender Chris McCready is likely to be out for up to four months after undergoing an ankle operation on Thursday.

The Shrimps boss said the consistent former Crewe man had been battling the injury for some time and had recently been struggling to walk after matches.

He said: “You’re always going to get injuries and I’m just thankful ours have come at the end of the season.

“With Chris we’ve had to wrap him up in cotton wool because he’s an ankle problem that keeps flaring up and he’s wanted to carry on playing.

“Training wise he’s done his own stuff and we’ve just played him in games. But it was getting to the stage where he was finding it very hard to walk after games.

“We sent him to a specialist and he’s got a micro-fracture of his ankle and has a problem with cartilage around his ankle joint.

“He’s had an operation on Thursday and could be out for up to 16 weeks with it.

“It’s no coincidence that we finished last season poorly and we’re finishing this season poorly.

“It’s probably because we’re overloading the players. We’ve got a lot of muscular injuries because they’ve played a lot of football.

“People will say full-time footballers should be able to do it, but they’re not robots.”