Morecambe boss Bentley fires warning over pre-season plans
Morecambe manager Jim Bentley has one simple message for the people determining the club's future; do it as soon as possible.
The Shrimps’ 1-1 draw against Colchester United on Easter Monday effectively ensured League Two status for another year barring a freakish run of results in the final three games of the season.
It would be the perfect time, then, for the manager to draw up his plans for next season with a list of players he’d like to keep and those he’d like to bring in.
Most of the Shrimps’ senior players find themselves on 12-month deals, except for Danijel Nizic, Aaron McGowan, Rhys Turner, Luke Conlan and Dean Winnard, all of whom have two-year contracts at their disposal.
However, as Bentley explained, it’s not only playing matters he needs to sort out quickly.
He said: “There is a lot of talking to be done over the next couple of weeks and there is an awful lot of stuff going on off the field.
“All that I can do in the meantime is do what I can to the best of my ability.
“I’d rather be in a better position with regards to planning at this stage of the season but I’ll get on with doing what I can and, hopefully, develop something from that.
“It’s a difficult time of the season anyway because there is a lot of work to be done and we’ve got to look at what we can and can’t do.
“There are things like pre-season kit to sort out, pre-season training and pre-season games to arrange.
“Players are the biggest thing so we have to make sure all of the off-field stuff is developed and it’s done so quickly.”
All things being equal, one of the players Bentley would undoubtedly want to keep for next season is veteran midfielder Michael Rose.
Having worked hard to bring in the 34-year-old last summer, Bentley’s efforts have been rewarded with half-a-dozen goals and a number of eye-catching performances.
Rose’s goals have been especially valuable this season, be they August’s winner against Blackpool, the opener in the victory over Plyymouth Argyle, the point-saver at Newport County AFC or the late penalty which earned a point against Colchester United on Easter Monday.
The latter was particularly significant, given his miss from the spot at Cheltenham Town two-and-a-bit weeks earlier.
Bentley said: “He missed his last penalty but he was playing against his former club on Monday and kept his nerve.
“He missed at Cheltenham when it looked like his foot gave way in the run-up but he’s confident in his ability.”