Shrimps’ boss continues to be linked with Carlisle United vacancy

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley. Picture: B&O PRESS PHOTO.
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley. Picture: B&O PRESS PHOTO.

It remains business as usual at Morecambe despite manager Jim Bentley continuing to be linked with the vacant role at Carlisle United.

An announcement is expected in the middle of the week as to the identity of Keith Curle’s successor in the Brunton Park hotseat.

Second interviews for the vacancy were due to take place as the Visitor went to press with a decision expected imminently.

The current bookies’ favourite, ahead of Bentley and Chorley manager Matt Jansen, is Livingston boss David Hopkin.

However, having guided Livingston into Scottish football’s top flight, it remains to be seen whether he would be prepared to swap the prospect of pitting his wits against Celtic and Rangers for a job in League Two.

Carlisle finished 10th in the table last season, eight points adrift of the play-off positions and in contrast to a Shrimps side that only avoided relegation thanks to their final day draw at Coventry City.

Bentley had no doubt as to the reason for the Shrimps’ lowly league position.

“We are a hard team to beat and people are surprised to see us where we are,” the manager said.

“However, we are where we are for a reason; defensively, we have looked alright and we’re a hard side to play against.

“Going the other way, though, we haven’t scored the goals we should have done.

“We have deserved more points than we have got but that’s the way it is.”

The end-of-season table bears out Bentley’s summation of his team’s campaign.

Only nine teams conceded fewer than Morecambe’s 56 goals but their 41 goals scored was the lowest in the division.

While admitting the Shrimps had not done themselves justice going forward, Bentley also believed his side lacked another key attribute: luck.

“We’ve only had two penalties this season – and we missed one of those – compared to 10 last season and 15 the year before,” he said.

“I study every game, which takes me three hours, and we should have had at least eight penalties this season.

“If you put those onto our total, that’s the difference between the odd draw and three points.”