Bentley: We won’t take our foot off the gas

Morecambe manager Jim Bentley.
Morecambe manager Jim Bentley.

Jim Bentley insists his side don’t have one eye on the beach and could still make a late run at the play-offs.

Saturday’s 3-0 win over Rochdale moved Morecambe within one point of their initial target of 50 points, usually enough for League 2 safety, but The Shrimps boss says he won’t let his players take their foot off the gas.

Bentley said: “It’s so far, so good but there’s still 10 big games to go, and we want to finish as strongly as we can and get as high up as we can.

“People pay their money to come and watch so there’s no way any team of mine is going to go through the motions with one eye on the beach.

“There’s a lot of work to be done, peoples contracts are up, we’re building for next season, so there’s an awful lot to play for.”

And the next seven to 10 days will have a big bearing on where The Shrimps finish up, with a clash at struggling Barnet on Saturday followed by home games against promotion-chasing Northampton and Gillingham.

Bentley believes three good results could make the final run in far more interesting than many expected.

He said: “It’s a massive week.

“They are different challenges. You’re playing one of the teams that are fighting relegation and then you’re playing two teams up near the top.

“If we were to get nine points, we could be right on the edge of it, and if we get a little run together with seven games to go like we did a couple of years ago when we got in the play-offs, then you never know.

“But if we have a couple of defeats amongst those three then I don’t think we can reach the play-offs.

“On the other hand, I don’t think we’ll go down now though and that’s what we were looking for at the start of the season.

“We’ll have to lose 10 out of 10 and the teams below us will have to win four or five games to get past us.

“But all this talk means nothing if we don’t get anything at Barnet. We can’t look too far ahead, we don’t know what’s going to happen with Northampton or Gillingham.

“So it’s all eyes on Barnet and then we’ll move onto the next one.”

Andy Parrish is Bentley’s main injury worry. The defender’s thigh injury will be assessed on Thursday to see if he is fit enough to return at Underhill.

*Morecambe’s Reserves beat Tranmere 2-1 at the Globe Arena on Wednesday night thanks to a Jordan Burrow brace.