Morecambe boss Bentley hails “magnificent achievement”

Jim Bentley.
Jim Bentley.
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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley says securing League Two status after a tumultuous year is a “magnificent achievement”.

Bentley’s side may have lost 3-1 at Exeter on Saturday but results elsewhere meant the Shrimps are now 
mathematically safe.

Off the field problems continue, with the club’s future ownership still unclear due to an ongoing court battle between Diego Lemos and Graham Burnard.

Players and staff have been paid late on three separate occasions this season meaning Bentley has been juggling battles on and off the field.

But with the Shrimps secure in 18th with two games to go Bentley said everyone involved with the club should feel “proud’’ of their 
achievements.

He said: “For a club like us and for what everyone has been through this season, we are delighted to be safe.

“Everyone – players, supporters and my backroom staff – deserve a massive pat on the back for what they have been though this year.

“We have been up against it for most of the season with a reduced budget, a small squad and the loss of two key players in Cole Stockton and Tom Barkhuizen.

“But everyone at the club has pulled together and to be safe is a magnificent achievement.

“After the January transfer window we only had 16 players.

“We have had a transfer embargo, we have had ownership problems, we have struggled to find anywhere to train and the community pitches closed because of administration.

“We have faced so many negatives this season and to come through it is a massive achievement.

“It is right up there for me.

“It has undoubtedly been my hardest season because it has been very stressful but I am proud of everyone at the club and we now need to look to get the stability everyone wants to give us a brighter future.

“The fans have been absolutely magnificent.

“They have understood the problems we have had and really backed us all the way and I want to thank them for everything they have done.’’

Bentley is hoping to thank as many supporters as possible this weekend as the Shrimps play their final home league game of the season against Wycombe at the Globe Arena and host their annual player of the season awards after the match.

He said: “We want to see as many supporters as we can on Saturday and mark the season with them.

“We would love the end the campaign at the Globe on a high and finish the year with a win.’’