Morecambe boss Jim Bentley is ready to rotate squad against Sunderland

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Jim Bentley will give a run-out to some of his fringe players as Morecambe conclude their Checkatrade Trophy campaign against Sunderland this evening.

The Shrimps play their final group game at the Globe Arena, knowing they are already out of the competition following defeats to Carlisle United and Stoke City in their opening matches.

Jim Bentley

Jim Bentley

It is important that as many players as possible get some game time under their belts as the Shrimps have now embarked on a hectic run of matches before the end of the month.

That opens the door to some of the club’s younger players, those returning from injury and those on the fringes to stake their claim tonight.

“It’s one of those games where we’re out of the competition unfortunately,” Bentley said.

“The majority of the starting XI has picked itself over the last couple of weeks because they are in decent form and are doing okay but there are other players chomping at the bit.

“We have players coming back from injury, we have new players – the likes of Florent Cuvelier – who we’re trying to get up to speed.

“Garry Thompson is coming back, Andrew Tutte is coming back, Alex Kenyon has been out for a little bit, so we have a squad who will need games.

“It’s not as if we’re bringing out someone and putting in someone who isn’t capable.”

After tonight’s game, the Shrimps will travel south on Friday ahead of Saturday’s match with Forest Green Rovers.

This time next week is the FA Cup replay at FC Halifax Town, followed by a home game against Notts County on November 24.

A trip to MK Dons follows three days later, with a possible FA Cup second-round tie taking place on December 1.

Acknowledging the workload ahead, Bentley is confident that the players at his disposal will be able to step up and, potentially, provide him with a selection headache.

“We have full trust in all the players and we have to make sure we get the balance right with regards to having another game on Saturday at Forest Green,” the manager said.

“It’s a busy time for us and we have a couple of players who need managing and a couple of players that might need taking out of the firing line, so there will be changes made.

“Whichever XI goes out will be looking to win the game because it’s a competition we wanted to do well in.

“We don’t want to go out with three defeats so we’ll be doing all we can to win the game – but there will be changes made.”