Shrimps' vintage Bentley collects manager award
MORECAMBE boss Jim Bentley hopes his side can follow up personal plaudits with team success tomorrow.
The Shrimps welcome Doncaster Rovers to the Globe Arena, 24 hours on from the announcement that Bentley had won August’s Manager of the Month award for League Two.
He received the prize after guiding his players to four consecutive league victories and top spot in the table at the end of August.
Having lost at Grimsby Town on the opening day, they bounced back in style with victories over Blackpool, Portsmouth, Yeovil Town and Accrington Stanley.
Bentley saw off the challenges of Nathan Jones (Luton Town), John McGreal (Colchester United) and Adam Murray (Mansfield Town) to take the award.
He said: “I am delighted to collect the award. It is a great achievement for the club, and the players and the backroom staff deserve all the plaudits.
“After a poor start to the season at Grimsby the lads have been brilliant and given their all and to get four wins from the first five games was a magnificent effort. This award is really for them.’’
The judging panel is chaired by former Ipswich Town boss, George Burley, who added: “Jim has had a great start to the season with Morecambe, winning their last four games in August.”
Sky Sports’ Football League pundit Don Goodman said: “Bentley’s Morecambe side ended last season with a feeling of disappointment as a promising first half of the campaign faded away and they only just hung on to their place in the Football League.
“The form they’ve started the new season in will be incredibly encouraging to him but Jim will be aware that, although they’ve had a terrific start, there’s plenty more work to do.”
However, the Shrimps were unable to make it a double as keeper Barry Roche missed out on the player’s award for the opening month.
That went to a member of tomorrow’s opposition with Rovers’ skipper James Coppinger picking up the trophy ahead of Roche, Brennan Dickenson (Colchester United) and Alex Kiwomya (Crewe Alexandra).
Tomorrow’s match could also have personal significance for Coppinger because, if selected by manager Darren Ferguson, it would be his 500th appearance for Rovers.
“I better start him! No pressure there then,” joked Ferguson.
“It’s an incredible achievement to play 500 games for one club. He hasn’t lost any of his quality really, and he’s a fit boy.
“The biggest compliment I can give him is that I wish I had managed him earlier in his career.
“I’ve had some good players but he must be up there as one of the best.
“He’s a great example to all the players in the squad in the way he trains, how he prepares and recovers.
“Every day means everything to him. He has his own ice baths. It’s not a coincidence he’s kept going for so long.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with him.”