Morecambe boss Bentley plans mini pre-season

Mark Hughes is fouled against Stevenage. Picture: The Comet
Mark Hughes is fouled against Stevenage. Picture: The Comet
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Morecambe’s players are in for a tough week on the training pitch despite having a free Saturday afternoon.

The Shrimps are without a game on FA Cup second round weekend but Jim Bentley has a pre-season style week planned for his first-team squad as they build up to the game against Luton at the Globe Arena on December 13.

Bentley said: “I’d much rather be involved in the FA Cup and I’ll be looking on enviously at the teams playing up and down the country.

“But that’s in the past and we can’t do anything about it so we’ve planned the next two weeks.

“The lads know what’s happening this week and it will be a difficult week because we’ll have them in every day.

“They’ll be morning and afternoon sessions and it’ll be like a mini pre-season.

“We’ll top them up and then give them the weekend off and we’ll come back for the build-up to the Luton game which I’m really looking forward to.

“It’s a big game for us and they’ll travel really well.

“They’re a big club in decent form, similar to when we played Bury in our last game at home. 
“I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

One positive of the free weekend is that Bentley will have a host of players back available again after a patched-up side drew 1-1 at Stevenage on Saturday.

The Shrimps could only name six subs, including untried youth team products Nathan Bondswell and Declan Watson, but Padraig Amond’s late leveller handed them a hard-earned point.

Kevin Ellison and Alan Goodall will be back after serving one-game bans at the Lamex Stadium with Bentley hoping to have a selection headache ahead of the game against the high-flying Hatters.

Bentley said: “We’ll have Ello and Goody back from suspension and I should imagine we’ll have most of the injuries will have cleared up by then too.

“I’ve got a selection headache because I think the lads that came into the side at Stevenage have done themselves no harm.

“We’ll do what’s right by them over the next two weeks, we’ll be positive and we’ll take the momentum from scoring late in a game which we should have won and the lads know they should have won into the Luton game.

“Hopefully the fans will come out in good numbers and get behind us. I want a similar atmosphere to what it was against Bury.

“A similar performance would do nicely as well.”

It has been confirmed that the game will be for the Eric Morecame Trophy as the town celebrates the return of the famous statue to the resort’s seafront two days earlier on December 11.