Bentley: We can’t be outnumbered against Carlisle

Morecambe fans.
Morecambe fans.

Jim Bentley has challenged Morecambe’s fans not to be outsung and outnumbered when Carlisle visit the Globe Arena on Boxing Day.

The struggling Cumbrians have sold out their allocation of 1,770 tickets with Shrimps chiefs targeting a 4,000-plus crowd on the day.

Bentley hopes there will be battles both on and off the field with a fine festive atmosphere expected on Friday.

He said: “We don’t want to go into any home game where we’re outnumbered by the away fans.

“This is our turf, this is our backyard and it’s important.

“If I could call on any game for the fans to come out it would be Boxing Day against your rivals from just up the road who are bringing a party with them.

“We’ve got to make sure that not just on the pitch we do the business and stand up and try and beat Carlisle, we’ve got to make sure we outsing them off the pitch too.”

Bentley believes it is the kind of game that can rally the town around the football club, something that will need to happen for them to move up the Football League.

He said: “I’ve always said about the community of Morecambe it’s their football club.

“I want people round this area to live for Saturday afternoons.

“It’s very important that this football club moves from strength to strength but we’re not going to do that without the town’s backing.

“It’s a good community but we still need more through the gates.

“Our average attendance isn’t great but it’s down to us to put in more performances like we did against Luton.

“I’m sure that will help but everyone’s got a big part to play.”

After the Carlisle clash the Shrimps then head to Hartlepool on Sunday, December 28, to face another one of League 2’s struggling sides.

But with new owners and a new manager, Ronnie Moore, in place in the North East, Bentley knows picking up six points out of six will be no easy task.

He said: “We want to kick on and this is an ideal opportunity where the games come thick and fast.

“We know that it’s going to be tough though.

“Hartlepool have a new manager and Carlisle’s is relatively new and it looks like they’re turning a corner.

“Hopefully we can get more points on the board before the New Year.”