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Morecambe v Preston North End, Tuesday 18th, kick-off 7:30pm

18 July 2017

Club News


Morecambe v Preston North End, Tuesday 18th, kick-off 7:30pm

18 July 2017

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley says he hopes fans come out in good numbers to welcome former favourite Tom Barkhuizen back to the Globe Arena on Tuesday night.

Barkhuizen's Preston North End will provide stiff opposition for the Shrimps in their third friendly of the pre season campaign with players eager to impress new boss Alex Neil.

Bentley said: "It will be great to see Tom back.

"We didn't want to lose him last season, everyone knows that, but we were so pleased how well he did at the same time.

"We have always been big fans of his and to see him get a new three year contract in the summer shows just how much Preston think of him already.

"It is a big game for us though and it will be a real test of where we are against a strong Championship side.''

Away from the game Bentley admits he still needs further reinforcements for his own squad.

“You can spread your budget out thinly and try to get a squad of 26 or spend big and go with a squad of 15. “We have tried to go somewhere between that as we want a few more than 20 players but we have to respect the budget.

“I’ll still be looking around with what we have got available and what is left to spend in the budget.”

There is one clear aim in terms of new blood for the season ahead with at least one centre-half required following the departures of Ryan Edwards and Alex Whitmore.

Dean Winnard is the only out-and-out senior central defender on the Shrimps’ books, though Alex Kenyon can play at the back when required. With teenager Tyler Brownsword the other available defender, Bentley has fielded two trialist centre-halves against Bamber Bridge and Lancaster City, while another trialist was due at the club at the start of the week. However, he also admitted he tried to bring back a familiar face for the new season.

“We need one or two experienced players over the next week or two,” the manager said. “That might be someone like an Alex Whitmore, who we enquired about bringing back from Burnley but that’s not happened.

“I have to say this summer has been the most frustrating with regards to nailing down a centre-half.

“We’ve been knocked back by more than one because of location, finance, a little bit of everything really.

“We have a quite of them on our radar and, ideally, we’d like another forward and a utility players as well.

“We want them in ASAP but all I can do is try and sell the club to the player; we still have one or two irons in the fire. “What it perhaps does for now is give Tyler a chance to get some more experience and gives us the chance to look at Alex (Kenyon) in a back four.

“He played on the left-hand side of a back three so this is a good chance for him to play in a four.”

The game against North End kicks off at 7.30pm at the Globe Arena.

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