Morecambe FC Season Review: Bentley looks back at best ever season

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley.
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley.
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Jim Bentley is pretty clear when asked how he would compare 2014-2015 to his other three seasons in charge.

“It’s been the best,” the Shrimps boss says without hesitation and the stats back him up.

An 11th-placed finish with a highest ever points total of 63 points under Bentley suggests that all is rosy at the Globe Arena.

He knows more than anyone that it isn’t as clear cut as that however with most of the Shrimps’ more impressive performances coming away from their Westgate home.

“We’ve kept more clean sheets this season, we’ve scored more goals and we’ve got more points,” said Bentley.

“It’s been great but I can understand people’s frustrations because we wanted to win more games at home.

“I like to look at it glass half-full rather than empty though.

“If we can improve our home form next season and continue how we’ve been doing away then we’ll be in with a chance.”

When Bentley talks of ‘a chance’ he is referring to a run at the League 2 play-offs.

It is something that was a possibility for large parts of the season just gone with the Shrimps finishing eight points shy of the top seven.

“This season we’ve only been outside the top half for about a month,” said Bentley.

“With one or two decisions or penalty misses, being eight points off shows we’re not far away.

“I’m not saying we’re going to do this or that because no-one knows what’s going to happen.

“I know for a fact though that at the start of next season when all the experts and opposing fans are tipping teams for promotion we won’t be in the picture.

“But I know we’ll tipped to be in the bottom two again because of the size of our club, because of our fanbase and what we’ve got available.

“We know we’re better than that. We’ve proven that year on year and certainly this year.

“It’s not fluke that you can go to Bury home and away and win, Luton home and away and win, beat Southend away, beat Burton Albion away.

“That’s because you’re a decent enough outfit.”

Bentley is now determined to keep developing his side and beating the odds with the likes of Jack Redshaw having attracted interest from elsewhere.

“We’ve brought good players to the club and the stock’s higher now,” the Shrimps boss said.

“There’s no coincidence that there are more scouts coming to watch games because we’ve got players capable of playing at a higher level.

“We’ve just got to make sure we keep hold of them and keep adding to it and anything can happen.

“Look at Bournemouth the other week. What an unbelievable achievement.

“I remember beating them 5-0 at home and it looking like they were going out of business.

“Then six years later they’re in the Premier League. That sums up football.”