Reporter Adam Lord takes a closer look at Morecambe's 2-1 defeat to Newport County on Saturday.
Bentley shouldn’t be under pressure
Post-match on Saturday I sensed a growing feeling that fans were turning on Jim Bentley. Boos greeted the half-time and full-time whistles as Morecambe slipped to a third straight defeat, the last two in very winnable home games. There was also clearly a feeling that given his strong post-match comments on Tuesday night that The Shrimps legend could even walk away himself. Bentley quickly dismissed that possibility at full-time and insisted he was happy with the backing he was getting from his board of directors. Personally, I find the notion that Bentley's job is on the line ridiculous. The amount he cares for the club should go a long way to determining how much time he is given and survival each year remains an achievement, like it or not. A play-off push is what everyone, including Bentley, is striving for but it should be regarded as a fantastic achievement, rather than the minimum expectation.
Something still has to change
As one fan quite rightly tweeted me on Saturday night there is still a feeling that something has to change. There is a sense of unease ahead of every game at the Globe Arena, most likely down to Morecambe’s patchy record at their Westgate home since the move in August 2010. More worryingly though there is also an increasing apathy coming from the terraces. It would take me a while to count up all the words I’ve written about the Globe Arena conundrum and sadly for both the club and its fans it shows no signs of changing and may even be hitting a new low. The club clearly desperately needs new investment and there has been no shortage of attempts to bring money into the club by chairman Peter McGuigan. But with the ground continuing to carry the name of a company that long since folded and Jim Bentley needing to call in favours from other managers to simply bring in players during this window, things do seem to be coming to a head.
Same old story on the field
Off the field issues aside it was the same old story on the field. Morecambe know what they’re doing going forwards, even if they have missed a few too many chances in recent weeks. In Shaun Miller, Jamie Devitt and Tom Barkhuizen they have three of the most exciting attacking talents the club has seen in recent years. Defensively however, things just aren’t clicking. Again two preventable goals were conceded all too easily on Saturday, following hot on the heels from Tuesday night’s horrorshow against Mansfield. As he raced forwards to join an attack late on Adam Dugdale won a powerful, towering header just over the halfway line, fairly cleaning out a Newport player in the process. The Shrimps need a little more of that in their defensive third.