Bentley bids to get back on track

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley
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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley takes his players to Crewe Alexandra tonight, hoping to dispel some of the ‘doom and gloom’ around the club.

The Shrimps travel to Gresty Road hoping for some relief after a tumultuous period for everyone at the Globe Arena.

Late payment of wages and Tom Barkhuizen’s departure were followed by Saturday’s 2-0 loss against Luton Town – their seventh consecutive home league defeat.

It leaves them 17th in the League Two table, three points ahead of the relegation spots – but only five adrift of the top six.

They also have an extra headache this evening as defender Alex Whitmore begins a suspension.

The centre-half was given a straight red card – his second of the season – for a challenge on Luton midfielder Olly Lee and lost the appeal against his dismissal yesterday.

Bentley said: “We’ve had a difficult time off the field and we’ve had a lot of games recently which have taken their toll on the group.

“We aren’t halfway through the season yet but there’s a lot of doom and gloom so we have to keep the lads motivated and keep behind them.

“We aren’t one of the big boys or the favourites to do this and that but we were six unbeaten until we went to Wycombe Wanderers and lost 2-0.

“There’s a lot for us to be proud of but we’ve lost too many games, especially at home.

“At the minute we are having a bit of a tough spell but we have to keep battling and get points on the board sooner rather than later.”

Whitmore’s red card, which rules him out of four league matches, stretches an already depleted squad..

Midfield is the main bone of contention for the Shrimps’ squad, with Michael Rose and Peter Murphy the only fit players at the weekend.

Alex Kenyon is continuing his recovery from a knee problem, while Andy Fleming and Aaron Wildig missed out through injury.

“We’re hoping Aaron will be all right but we have five central midfielders in the squad and three of those were unavailable,” Bentley said.

“We were down to the bare 18 and we’ll probably be missing one or two again on Tuesday.

“It’s another challenge and one we look forward to. We know Crewe’s strengths and weaknesses so, hopefully we can tighten up at the back, keep creating chances – and take one or two.”