Bentley: We’re not thinking about promotion

Jack Sampson is looked over by Simon Farnworth after his head injury against AFC Wimbledon.
Jack Sampson is looked over by Simon Farnworth after his head injury against AFC Wimbledon.
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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley insisted he isn’t thinking about his side’s promotion prospects as they look to extend their unbeaten league run to 10 games at Cheltenham on Tuesday night.

The Shrimps missed out on top spot in League 2 on Saturday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Wimbledon at the Globe Arena.

They still sit only one point behind leaders Chesterfield in sixth but Bentley is adamant he is fully focused on the trip to Whaddon Road.

He said: “Before the start of the season we were tipped as out and out favourites for relegation.

“It’s so far, so good, we’re in the top six which is great and there’s a lot of good clubs in and around us, but as far I’m concerned I don’t look too far ahead.

“Football being the way it is if you start backing yourself and shouting from the rooftops about what you’re going to do it can come back to bite you on the bum.

“I’ve learnt that, and I think it’s just staying focused and never looking too far ahead and concentrating on the next game and that’s Cheltenham.”

Mark Yates’ Robins find themselves 17th in League 2 but Bentley knows his side will have their work cut out against a side that reached the play-offs last season.

He said: “Cheltenham is a tough place to go and as far as I’m concerned they’re in a bit of a false position.

“They were one of my favourites before the start of the season and they’ve got a good manager who’s brought in some good players.

“It’s going to be a tough game for us.

“But at the moment we’ve got to enjoy it, we’re nine unbeaten. At any level of football that’s great.”

Bentley goes into the game short on numbers after Jack Sampson, Andy Wright and Andy Parrish were all left carrying injuries after the Dons draw.

Unable to add to his squad, Bentley backed his stretched side to continue battling on having already lost Chris Doyle for up to two months with a knee injury picked up in the reserve defeat at Burnley last week.

The Shrimps boss said: “We might be three down so we might have to promote one of our youth team players but that’s the way it is.

“We just get on and we’re not going to moan about it.

“I’m in a privileged position as a Football League manager. The lads are in a privileged position as footballers and it’s great way of life, a great job to have and they’ll stick together.

“If we are lacking in bodies on Tuesday it won’t bother us and we’ll have a team ready and raring to go to make sure that we look after our unbeaten record.

“On a positive note Jack Redshaw’s making good progress, so is Chris McCready and hopefully we can get Marcus Marshall back soon.

“Jack Sampson’s concussed so it shouldn’t be too long and we’ll have to see what’s what with regards to Andy Parrish’s throat and hopefully Andy Wright’s shoulder isn’t too bad.

“Whatever team goes out will give it their all for the shirt and that’s what I’ve got into the players and they’ve got that great togetherness and never-say-die attitude and they’re going to need to call upon that.

“If we can stay unbeaten we’ve equalled the best unbeaten run in the league in the whole of last season which was Southend.”