Bentley: We can get dragged into relegation scrap

Andy Fleming, in action against Cheltenham, is a doubt for The Shrimps at Dagenham.

Andy Fleming, in action against Cheltenham, is a doubt for The Shrimps at Dagenham.

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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley knows his side have a battle on their hands to secure League 2 safety.

The Shrimps boss has acknowledged it would only take a couple of a bad results for his side to be dragged in to a full-blown relegation scrap ahead of the trip to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

Bentley said: “I said in the interview after the Oxford game that we were in a relegation battle.

“It would be stupid to think ‘oh we’ll be alright’ when we’re not that far ahead of the bottom two.

“The league is that tight. If we go and get a couple of wins we could be challenging at the other end.

“But if you lose one or two or draw games you think you should win, you can certainly get dragged into it.”

Bentley’s task is made all the harder as sides around The Shrimps in the lower half of the table are strengthening their squads with it looking increasingly like Ryan Williams and Chris Holroyd will be the only arrivals at the Globe Arena in the January transfer window.

The Shrimps boss said: “Aldershot are signing a lot of players, and have paid transfer fees this season. Bristol Rovers are a massive club, Plymouth are a massive club and Barnet seem to have signed a few players and got their act together under Edgar Davids.

“We’ve got to be aware of that but we can only affect ourselves.

“At the end of the day if we get the points of the board we don’t have to worry about anyone around us, we just have to try and get up the table as much as we can, and that’s what we’re looking to do.”

The only business that could happen this month is young midfielder Joe McGee heading out on loan.

Bentley said: “I think it’s important and aided Dan Parkinson, Joe Mwasile and James Short so it might be time for Joe McGee to get a run somewhere, playing on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm for a good few weeks and see if that aids his development.”

The Shrimps make the trip to Dagenham without a win in their last eight League 2 away games, with the London side confident the game will beat the recent snow and freezing temperatures.

Bentley said: “It’s turned on its head compared to last season.

“We just need to keep working hard, keep believing in what we’re doing and maybe tweak one or two things here and there.

“We are capable of winning games, we’ve proved that but we’ll have to prove it again with a positive result and a good performance at Dagenham.”

Robbie Threlfall and Andy Fleming are both doubts for the game, the latter not having trained this week due to an ankle injury picked up against Cheltenham when he appeared to bring down Sam Deering in the box shortly before half-time.

Andy Wright and Andy Parrish are set to return from suspension. Wright has however been suffering with a chest infection but came through the reserve game against Burton on Tuesday.

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