Bentley: We’re nearing full strength

Jack Redshaw.
Jack Redshaw.
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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley hopes to have a full-strength squad by the time Southend visit the Globe Arena in the FA Cup first round a week on Saturday.

Long-term absentees Chris McCready and Jack Redshaw have both returned to training after a start to the season that has seen Bentley manage with a depleted squad.

They are not expected to be ready for the trip to Burton on Saturday but could return seven days later.

He said: “Chris McCready’s been given the go-ahead by the specialist to join in so he’ll have his first day back today (Thursday).

“Fitness isn’t an issue because it’s not a leg injury so he’s been able to run.

“We’ve just got to build his confidence up with contact.

“Whether we get the wrestler back in to throw him round the Astroturf I don’t know! He won’t be too far away.

“Little Jack had a good week last week and we trained him hard on Monday and we give him a rest on Tuesday because he was a little bit stiff.

“He’ll come back into training again today so he’s making good progress and every day that goes by he’s getting back to where we want him to be.

“He looks sharp, he’s been scoring goals since his first day back.

“There’s only Chris Doyle who’s a little way away but he’s back running.

“We’re nearly up to full strength and I should imagine by the time Southend comes round, touching wood, we’ll have a full-strength squad.”

Marcus Marshall also surprised many by coming off the bench in the defeat against Accrington on Saturday having missed the majority of the season with a troublesome hamstring problem.

Bentley said: “He trained a few days before the game and is obviously not 100 per cent fit.

“He’s missed a lot of football and still has this underlying problem with his hamstring but he’s getting better and better day by day.”

Ryan Williams was an unused sub against Accrington with Bentley insisting the free-kick specialist needed a rest.

He said: “It’s a squad game.

“Some players you can just keep bouncing off the wall and they keep coming back but others it takes its toll on them.

“And I just thought Ryan was showing a few signs of fatigue and I don’t think he was affecting the game as much as what he would like.

“There’s no doubting he’s a big player for us. He’s got something that most of the other lads haven’t got in his set plays.

“There’s plenty of things that come into play but there’s nothing wrong with Ryan. He’s had a rest and will definitely come back into contention on Saturday.”

Captain Mark Hughes will also return from his one-game ban for the trip to Burton on Saturday.