Bentley ready for tough start to Morecambe's 10th Football League season
Jim Bentley is readying his Shrimps side for a tough start to the new League 2 campaign.
Morecambe travel to newly-promoted Grimsby on the opening day on August 6 before a trip to Championship side Rotherham in the EFL Cup first round.
Two mouth-watering home games then follow against seaside rivals Blackpool and perennial promotion favourites Portsmouth.
A trip to Yeovil comes before the first game of the season against Accrington closes out the first month of the season, The Shrimps travelling to the Crown Ground on August 27.
Bentley said: “Grimsby have just come back up and it will be their first game back in the Football League and it’s at home so there’ll be a bumper crowd and a tough game.
“Then it’s straight into a cup game on the Tuesday away from home which will be very difficult but it’s an opportunity for us to test ourselves against Championship opposition.
“We’ve usually done alright in that competition in the past so why can’t we go there and do what we’ve done in the past to the likes of Blackpool and Barnsley and Wolves and teams like that?
“And then we’re into a home double-header against two of the biggest clubs in the division.
“Blackpool have had a terrible time but they’re a big club with a new manager.
“It looks like they’ve hit rock bottom and they’ll be looking to get back up the division as soon as possible.
“We know it will be a tough game and it’s got the added spice of being a derby match and being our first home game.
“Then we’ve got the biggest club in the division in Portsmouth and they’ll again in my opinion be the favourites for the league.
“It is a tough start but we’re more than capable and we’re looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead of us.”
Bentley is expecting another tough league from top to bottom but is ready to upset the odds once again in Morecambe’s 10th season in the Football League.
He said: “It is a tough start but I say it every year you’ve got to play every club home and away.
“It doesn’t matter when you play them come the end of season you’ve played both teams twice.
“I think the league’s very difficult and it has been for the years that we’ve been a Football League club.
“We’ve done very well just to stay in the league with regards to what we’ve had staff and player wise.
“We’ve done unbelievably well as a group to be a Football League club over the last 10 years and everyone should be proud of that.
“You can’t have that attitude of ‘oh, we’re one of the most established Football League clubs’ it’s a very, very difficult league.
“We know going in to this season it’ll be difficult season again but we know that we’re capable of doing okay and beating anyone on our day.”