Bentley: Shrimps must do better next season
Morecambe go into Saturday's final game of the League Two season with manager Jim Bentley admitting things must improve next time around.
They travel to Luton Town, sitting 18th in League Two after an eventful campaign on and off the pitch.
Their well documented off-field difficulties have taken some of the attention away from an indifferent season on the pitch.
Bentley’s players only won six and drawn four of their 23 league games at home this season, yielding 22 points in all.
In contrast, the Shrimps have been much better on the road with eight victories and six draws coming away from the Globe Arena.
Bentley admitted: “Our home form needs to be better but we’ve had a lot of things go against us and a lot of things I didn’t agree with.
“We’re striving to be better and we’ve been excellent away from home but everything has been against us this year.
“The biggest result was beating Rotherham in the EFL Cup which gave us a shot in the arm and kicked us on.
“However, what’s happened this season has been beyond a joke, with regard to certain characters coming into the club and letting us down.”
One of the players who has been a constant this season is veteran winger Kevin Ellison.
The 38-year-old, who was Bentley’s first signing on becoming Shrimps boss six years ago, claimed three awards at the club’s end-of-season presentation night last week.
Some of his performances might have come under scrutiny from a number of fans but he has still managed to make 50 appearances over the course of the season. Goals in consecutive games against Exeter City and Wycombe Wanderers have taken him to nine for the season, making him the Shrimps’ third highest scorer behind Cole Stockton and Paul Mullin.
“People point at players’ ages but Wycombe have 12 or 13 players in their 30s and, if you look at the top level, Teddy Sheringham played into his 40s,” Bentley said.
“Kevin Ellison looks after himself and he’s a good professional who does everything right.
“He manages himself well, he lets us manage him, he’s got nine goals now but he has had some hard luck during the season.
“However, you only have to look at the response when he came off the bench at Exeter – as soon as his name was announced all their fans started booing because they hate him.
“For me though, he’s up there with one of the best League Two players over the last six years.
“He was my first signing and my best signing. I think he’s second or third with regards to games played and we’re proud to have him.”