Confidence sky high for Morecambe ahead of Torquay clash

Torquay boss Alan Knill.
Torquay boss Alan Knill.

Morecambe go into their first home league game of the season against Torquay on Saturday full of confidence after dumping Wolves out of the Capital One Cup.

Ryan Williams’ stunning free-kick on Tuesday night in front of the Sky cameras set up a mouth-watering clash with Premier League Newcastle in round two.

But boss Jim Bentley insists his side will be fully focused on the Globe Arena clash with the Gulls after an eventful week.

He said: “Confidence is high, it was a good performance and a good result on Tuesday so we’re all pleased.

“But we’ve got to put that cup game behind us now and all eyes are on the league campaign.

“I said after the game on Tuesday it’s nice, it’s a good feeling, enjoy it, but you’re all professional footballers.

“Since late Tuesday night I’ve been looking at the Torquay side and doing homework ready to do bits and pieces in training so we’re ready and raring to go on Saturday.”

Bentley is expecting a tough test from the Gulls who came through a relegation scare under boss Alan Knill, whose interim position was made permanent at the end of the season, to finish 19th in League 2.

The Shrimps manager said: “Alan Knill’s still a relatively new manager and they lost Rene Howe who’s a big player for them, but they’ve got good players there.

“Karl Hawley’s a good player, they’ve got a bit of pace and flair either side, Lee Mansell the captain is a very good player at this level who’s scored against us in the past, so we need to be watching his runs late into the box.

“We respect everyone and any game at this level is tough game. I’m sure with the mood we’re in at the moment and what we’ve got at our disposal we can go out there and cause them problems as well.

“We’re looking forward to it and hopefully we can get three points on the board.”

Bentley hopes the euphoria of Tuesday night could help boost numbers on the terraces, starting with the visit of Torquay.

He said: “We’ve said that a few times over the last couple of years, especially with the Dagenham game last year.

“It was free to get in, it was a great atmosphere a big crowd, but we were a little disappointed with the size of crowd the next home game.

“The performance and the atmosphere was a different class on Tuesday.

“The crowd got behind the lads and hopefully people got the bug and want to come back on Saturday and for more and more home games throughout the season.”

Jack Redshaw is a long-term injury absentee for the Shrimps with Robbie Threlfall (thigh), Chris McCready (ankle), Marcus Marshall (hamstring), Kevin Ellison (hamstring) and Chris Doyle all struggling.

Marshall is the most likely to return to the Shrimps squad that saw three youth team players used on the bench against Wolves.

Right back Aaron McGowan, midfielder Alex Naylor and striker Tom Woods could be part of the 18 again against Torquay.