Morecambe boss: We’re lacking character and leadership

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley. Picture: Matt Rushton

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley. Picture: Matt Rushton

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Jim Bentley believes his struggling side are lacking in leadership and character.

The Morecambe boss pulled no punches as his The Shrimps’ poor run continued with an FA Cup exit at the hands of Conference side Dover Athletic on Saturday.

Stefan Payne scored the only goal of the game in first-half stoppage time as Bentley saw his side’s slump hit a new low.

He said: “As the say goes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

“Football’s great when you’re winning and getting the pats on the back but you do learn things when you’re going through a sticky spell.

“I don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for me and I don’t feel sorry for the players.

“They’ve got to roll their sleeves up and come out fighting and that’s when you find out about the characters in your squad.

“If I’m honest we’re lacking a little bit of that at the minute, a bit of leadership, a bit of character.

“You don’t win anything without that in your side.”

Morecambe, 10th in League 2 and two points off the play-offs, have lost five of their last seven in all competitions and the run gets no easier with the Shrimps welcoming one of League 2’s fancied sides, Bury, on Saturday.

The game against the Shakers comes before long trips to Portsmouth and Stevenage.

Bentley said: “We’ve got to come out now and have a positive week, get this out of our system and look forward to what is a very difficult game against Bury.

“It’ll be a very, very tough game again.

“Confidence is low at the minute but we’ve got to rally round and get them back on their feet.”

The Bury game is a 2.30pm kick-off to allow fans to move into the bar, Wright & Lord suite or head home for England’s international against Slovenia at 5pm.

Scott Davies could return in goal after on-loan stopper Joe Lumley, signed on Friday from Queens Park Rangers, came into the side at Dover with Davies denied permission to play by parent club Fleetwood.

Barry Roche (hip) and Jamie Devitt (torn hamstring) remain long-term absentees although Devitt is making good progress as he targets a return before the end of the year.