Morecambe set for Fleetwood test in Johnstone’s Paint Trophy

Ryan Edwards is set to return against Fleetwood.
Ryan Edwards is set to return against Fleetwood.

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley is looking forward to renewing his side’s rivalry with Fleetwood in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on Tuesday night.

Graham Alexander’s Cod Army were promoted to League 1 last season and have continued their fine form in the higher tier.

But the Shrimps will be confident of carrying on their own good start to the season at Highbury.

Bentley said: “They’re going well at the minute after promotion.

“They’re an ambitious side and we know whatever team they put out it’s going to be a difficult game but it’s one we’re looking forward to.

“It’s a derby match, a little bit of a rest from the league programme, and hopefully we can go there and enjoy it and progress into the next round.”

The JPT is a competition where sides traditionally make changes and it appears the Shrimps will be no different.

In the absence of Mark Hughes, who will serve a three-game ban after his sending off at Tranmere, Ryan Edwards is set to return to the side at Fleetwood after finger surgery while others who haven’t featured much could be given an opportunity to impress.

Bentley said: “We’re better equipped this year with regards to our squad. 
“Obviously now we’ll miss Mark Hughes with his suspension but Ryan Edwards is back fit and we’ve got lads on the bench who are itching to get on the park and prove a point.

“That’s my problem at the moment. I’ve got a good squad and any manager will tell you it’s harder to manage the ones who aren’t playing than the ones that are.

“There’ll be a couple of opportunities for them to show what they can do.”

The Shrimps boss however insists his side will be taking the competition seriously with a trip to Wembley the carrot dangled in front of every League 1 and 2 side.

Bentley said: “As far as I’m concerned it’s a fantastic opportunity and probably the shortest route that clubs at our level have of getting to Wembley.

“We’ve seen it in the past with other clubs and that’s our mindset going into the game.”