Morecambe boss will continue to stand up for players

Jim Bentley admitted his was riled by fan criticism in the draw with York.
Jim Bentley admitted his was riled by fan criticism in the draw with York.

Jim Bentley has vowed to continue to stand up for his players after his emotional response to criticism from a small section of fans.

The Morecambe boss launched a passionate defence following the Mansfield win and although he admits the timing was perhaps wrong, said he would do the same if he felt supporters were having an unnecessary pop at this squad in the future.

Bentley said: “Maybe it was the wrong time to say it in the way that I did.

“I’ve said all along the fans have been fantastic to me here over the years as a player and a manager.

“But the York game got me down a little bit. I’ve spoken to a few individuals and there’s a few people who don’t come every week that were getting on the players’ backs a little bit.

“I thought it was a decent game but the negativity behind me got to me and then somebody had a little pop at Ryan (Williams) in the Mansfield game.

“You’ve got to be realistic. They’re all League 2 players who go out there and give it their all for the shirt which isn’t always the case at other clubs.

“They’ve got a great spirit if anyone’s willing to have a pop at them then I’ll stand up for them.

“99.5% of the fans are fantastic and we have great hardcore group who muck in off the field with fundraising events.

“I’d like to thank them all for getting right behind us and long may it continue.

“I don’t mind constructive criticism but when one or two who step over the mark I treat the players like my kids and if you’re going to have a go at one of my players then I’m going to come out fighting.

“I think I’ve set the record straight. It’s certainly stirred a little bit of a reaction and hopefully everyone can put that in to getting right behind the team on Saturday (against Cheltenham) and we can win the game and then all shake hands.”

Bentley admits he was more emotional than usual due to the injury suffered by Kevin Ellison scoring the winner at One Call Stadium.

The Shrimps talisman fractured his eye socket and is set to be out until the New Year.

Bentley said: “It upset me to see the state Kev was in.

“Obviously knowing that we were going to be missing him into the New Year, maybe I should have bitten my tongue, taken a step back and counted to 10 but I was emotional.

“You can imagine the rollercoaster of the game, going 1-0 down, coming back and playing well, then conceding the penalty only to see it saved, then the winner and Kev’s injury.

“Maybe I should have let someone else do the interview and kept my mouth shut, but I said what I said and I meant it.

“I will speak my mind, I’m an honest person and an emotional one.”