Bentley: We have admiration for Accrington

Morecambe manager Jim Bentley.
Morecambe manager Jim Bentley.
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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley believes the Shrimps and Accrington Stanley are kindred spirits ahead of their Lancashire derby this Saturday.

But that doesn’t mean the Shrimps aren’t desperate to end a 13-game run without a Football League win over Stanley when they travel to the Crown Ground.

Bentley said: “We always respect them.

“They’re passionate like we are, both dugouts are passionate and both sets of players will no doubt go at it again.

“We’ve got a little bit of admiration for them as well, because like ourselves, they’ve got a good hardcore group of fans that really get behind their team.

“It’s a big game. We know what the record’s like against Accrington.

“But every season’s different, every game is different and they’ve picked up and signed good players after a difficult start.”

Bentley admits to being impressed by Accrington’s upturn in fortunes having not won their first league game of the season until the end of October.

Boss James Beattie has brought in the likes of last year’s star man Lee Molyneux back on loan from Crewe as well as adding Rotherham forward Kayode Odejayi with the Shrimps boss hoping his side carry on the spirit shown in their 2-2 draw with Portsmouth at the Globe Arena on Saturday.

Bentley said: “Molyneux’s gone back there and he was a good player for them last season.

“Odejayi has gone in and done well, (George) Bowerman’s playing now and scoring and there’s (Danny) Webber too.

“They’ve got a good side so it’ll be a tough game for us as it always is against Accrington.

“We’ve got to take the work rate and the desire from Saturday into next week because it will be a similar type of game.

“We’ve just got to tighten up at the back with regards to our defensive mindset when we’re attacking because we’ve been caught a couple of times.”

Like so many times this season however, Bentley will be left counting bodies for the game with several picking up knocks in the draw with Pompey.

The former club captain will fit that in around a trip to watch Saturday’s opponents when they travel to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night.

He said: “We’re looking forward to it (the game at Accrington) but we’ve got a few wounded after Saturday.

“Big Jack Sampson split his lip open, Andy Wright’s broken his nose, Mark Hughes came off with a hamstring problem and Andy Parrish was ill.

“So we’re struggling again with bodies but that’s the way it goes.

“We’re going to Bristol to watch Accrington on Tuesday and we’ll see what they’re all about.

“Then we’ll do battle with them once more on Saturday and hopefully we can come out on top for a change.”

Ryan Williams returned to the squad for the first time in several weeks after a hamstring problem and was an unused substitute against Portsmouth.

Marcus Marshall’s knee problem however means he remains a serious doubt for the trip to East Lancashire.