Bentley’s big decision on how to replace suspended Edwards

Ryan Edwards is suspended for Morecambe against Hartlepool.
Ryan Edwards is suspended for Morecambe against Hartlepool.
  • Morecambe host Hartlepool at the Globe Arena on Saturday
  • Ryan Edwards suspended after red card against Luton
  • Jim Bentley to decide on like-for-like replacement or change in formation

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley insists the balance of his side is key when it comes to replacing suspended defender Ryan Edwards.

The big centre half, a key figure in the Shrimps’ recent three at the back system, is banned for the game against bottom of the table Hartlepool on Saturday after being sent off in the win at Luton last time out.

Is it a time to be ultra-positive? We always try and be positive but you’ve got to get the balance right

Bentley’s side have struggled at home in recent weeks with the Shrimps boss now having to decide whether to go like-for-like at the back or change his formation.

He said: “When you lose one of your centre halves and young (Chris) Doyle is out on loan it does open other possibilities in the squad.

“Within the system and within the personal.

“Is it a time to be ultra-positive? We always try and be positive but you’ve got to get the balance right.

“We’ve got to look at all different things.

“We’ve got good players and it opens the door for someone else with big Ryan being suspended.”

The 3-4-1-2 set-up has appeared to bring more rewards away from home but Bentley believes other factors, not just systems, need to be considered.

He said: “I’ve seen a stat somewhere that away teams seem to be picking up more points this season throughout all the leagues.

“Our set-up does work well (away from home) but maybe it’s the way teams come at us.

“Luton are one of the top sides and they’re expected to win at home but on the flipside we’ve played teams at home and it’s been very hard to break them down.

“Going back to the Carlisle game I don’t think we played badly but they were 4-5-1. Even in that game we had decent enough chances.

“I think it’s about putting the ball in the back of the net.

“You could see the confidence Jack’s (Redshaw) opener gave us on Saturday and we got a deserved second and could have had a couple more.”