Bentley welcomes free weekend ahead of JPT semi-final

Barry Roche. Picture: Joe Spence.
Barry Roche. Picture: Joe Spence.

Jim Bentley has welcomed his side’s free weekend ahead of their crunch Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash against Fleetwood next Tuesday night.

The Shrimps won for the first time in six League 2 games against Dagenham on Tuesday night but their FA Cup exit at the hands of the same opposition a fortnight ago means Bentley’s men are without a game on Saturday.

Their next outing is the big area semi-final at Fleetwood, a game that could have been moved to the weekend with the Cod Army also out of the FA Cup.

But Bentley is pleased his players will have a week to build up to the game with The Shrimps hoping to move a step closer to a Wembley final.

He said: “We’ve got quite a few bumps and bruises.

“What we had against Dagenham was what we’ve got and in that we had (Alex) Kenyon on the bench who’s not fit.

“Jamie Devitt’s had illness and we’ve played Saturday, Tuesday, relentlessly.

“We’ve done an awful lot of travelling and at this stage of the year when the ground gets a bit heavier, when the clocks go back, traffic gets worse and it takes the lads longer to get in, it all takes its toll.

“It gives us a week now to recharge our batteries and re-energise and get them ready for a big JPT game next Tuesday.”

The major injury concern for The Shrimps at the moment is Barry Roche, the goalkeeper having limped off with a hamstring problem on Tuesday night.

The severity of his problem, the stopper having struggled with a bad back recently, is not yet known. Tony Thompson came off the bench for his debut.