Bentley: We are in a relegation battle

Jim Bentley can only watch from the dug out as his side lose 5-0 against Plymouth Argyle. Picture: Dave Rowntree/Pinnacle
Jim Bentley can only watch from the dug out as his side lose 5-0 against Plymouth Argyle. Picture: Dave Rowntree/Pinnacle

Jim Bentley has admitted his side are in a relegation battle ahead of a big seven days in Morecambe’s season.

The Shrimps boss was frank in his assessment of his side’s situation following the 5-0 humbling at Plymouth on Saturday that extended their winless League 2 run to 10 games.

It is a spell that has seen Morecambe slip to 15th in League 2, just seven points above the Football League trap door.

Bentley insists that despite his side’s excellent start to the season a difficult patch has come as no surprise.

But he is under no illusions about the need to get back to winning ways with two games in quick succession at the Globe Arena against Southend on Saturday and Newport next Tuesday night, March 11.

Bentley said: “You’re always a little bit anxious looking over your shoulder.

“I braced myself at the start of the year because we’re not one of the biggest clubs in the league, we cut the budget, we had to lose some key players, (Lewis) Alessandra being one of those who came back to haunt us on Saturday.

“But I’ve always had belief in my players that we can go out and upset a few teams and have a decent enough season.

“We started the season positively and went nine games unbeaten but it is what it is, the league doesn’t lie.

“We’re in poor form at the moment, we need to turn a corner and turn a corner quickly. The league is that tight and we’ve got a big week.

“We are getting dragged into and yes, we are in a relegation battle.

“And if we turn performances like we did on Saturday we’re going to struggle from now until the end of the season.

“But you’ve got to have confidence and belief in what you’ve got available and we haven’t become a bad side overnight.

“We’ve got enough in our locker to pull clear and we’ve got to believe in that.

“We need a good week and a reaction in front of our own fans because they’ll be hurting, I’m hurting, the players are hurting so as a group we’ve got to make sure we stand up and be counted and react in the right manner.”

Bentley is certainly someone who has never shied away from a challenge and this appears to be no different, despite suffering his heaviest defeat as a manager on Saturday.

He said: “It’s certainly a test of my character and it’s a test of the team’s character.

“I’m ready for the challenges and the battles ahead with the way the league is.

“There’s a lot of work to be done because I’m looking for a reaction and response and the players will be in every day this week ahead of two big home games.”

On the injury front Jack Redshaw returned from illness against Plymouth but Padraig Amond missed out with a hamstring problem.

The Shrimps have however been boosted by this week by Chesterfield’s Jamie Devitt extending his loan spell at the club until the end of April.

Turn to @Shrimps247 for the full story on Devitt staying with the Shrimps.