Trophy bye eases Morecambe injury worries

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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley admitted his side’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first round bye was a “godsend”.

The Shrimps are struggling with injuries and Bentley revealed he would have had to patch together a team if they had started their cup campaign on Tuesday night.

But the free week means a host of players with knocks and niggles with have a chance to recover ahead of the trip to Southend on Saturday.

Bentley said: “We’ve no JPT game which is a bit of a godsend.

“Sometimes you want to keep your run going but after the week we’ve had with a couple of injuries I think I’d be struggling to get a team out.

“Andy Parrish, Kevin Ellison and Ryan Williams wouldn’t have been able to play and there’s (Chris) McCready and (Jack) Redshaw so it’s good to have a free week.”

Centre half McCready suffered multiple fractures of his collarbone in an innocuous clash with Marvin Morgan in the 2-1 victory over Plymouth on Saturday.

The 31-year-old, who has only just returned from ankle surgery, was due to have an operation on the injury on Tuesday and is expected to miss two to three months of action.

Williams missed the win over the Pilgrims with a tight thigh and along with Parrish, hamstring, and Ellison, bad back, was set to sit out training on Tuesday after the players were given a day off on Monday.

All three however should be back in contention when the Shrimps go in search of the first away point of the season when they travel to Essex on Saturday.

Bentley said: “It’s two away games where we haven’t scored and been beaten in two difficult games and this will be no different.

“Southend are a big club at this level but we go into the game with confidence after the week we’ve just had.

“We’re looking forward to it after those two games and we’ll do everything we can to win it.”

The week saw the Shrimps pick up home league wins over Exeter and Plymouth and run Newcastle close in the Capital One Cup.

Bentley was delighted with the support he saw from the town with three home games in seven days.

He said: “The support was brilliant with three home games in a week.

“It’s always better to play in front of a big crowd like we did against Newcastle and hopefully more and more will come back.

“The noise they made was fantastic.”