Shrimps' boss looks for Pools win

MORECAMBE head to Hartlepool United this evening hoping to put off-field dramas to one side by recording a third victory in four league games.

Friday, 30th December 2016, 10:29 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 1:01 pm
Jim Bentley takes his Morecambe players to Hartlepool tonight

The Shrimps’ lead-up to tonight’s match was overshadowed by the revelation that the club is under a transfer embargo.

While that is being taken care of by other parties, manager Jim Bentley is solely focusing on matters on the pitch.

His players travel to Victoria Park on the back of Boxing Day’s victory at Mansfield Town which lifted them to 18th place in League Two.

Such is the congested nature of the division that the Shrimps are still only five points ahead of the relegation places – but only three behind 12th-placed Grimsby Town.

Bentley said: “If you look over the last four weeks then we’ve done well.

“At Newport we were well in the game (before it was abandoned), with 11 players we would have beaten Cheltenham Town, we were excellent at Scunthorpe United in the Checkatrade Trophy and we’ve beaten Plymouth Argyle at home.

“Our performances have been OK but we’ve had a bit of bad luck along the way but our last game was a thoroughly deserved victory.

“Now we go again against a team that seems to be struggling on and off the field like ourselves.”

The Shrimps leapfrogged tonight’s hosts by way of their win at Mansfield and Hartlepool’s defeat against Blackpool.

With Crewe Alexandra to come on Monday, this is the second of three festive fixtures pitting the Shrimps against sides in and around them in the table.

Not that Bentley is taking anything for granted against Craig Hignett’s side despite their run of two victories in 10 league matches.

He said: “It will be a tough game as their results haven’t reflected their performances.

“Any team that goes to Portsmouth and keeps a clean sheet must be decent enough.

“They had a little bit of hard luck against Blackpool the other day but they have some good players.

“We’ve got be aware of that and respect them but it’s a game we go into full of confidence.

“Whatever goes on off the field stays off the field; we will give it our all and hopefully get a victory.”

Bentley will be without Alex Kenyon, who sits out the second of his three-game suspension after his red card against Cheltenham.