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Club News


1 August 2019

Club News


1 August 2019

Jim Bentley says he has a massive selection headache ahead of the opening day of the SkyBet League 2 season.

The Shrimps boss has revealed the only player not up to speed for Saturday's fixture versus Grimsby Town is A-Jay Leitch-Smith, who picked up a hamstring injury in during the 2-0 victory over Bamber Bridge.

"There's a massive headache right throughout the squad," Bentley said. "If you look at the goalkeeper department, both Barry Roche and Mark Halstead have been absolutely fantastic throughout pre-season with regards to their attitude, their training, their performances, they've played the same amount of minutes in games so there's one massive decision straight away.

"You go right throughout the team and you have competition in every position right up to the top end of the pitch.

"Everyone's chomping at the bit, everyone wants to start the first game of the season, I'm going to have another difficult job in picking the bench because the squad's quite healthy at the minute but I'd rather be in this position than not have enough players.

"We need to have a game plan, we have to pick a matchday squad including players that can affect the game off the bench in the latter stages as we have done in the past.

"A few years back at Dagenham and Redbridge on the opening day, we kept Devitt and Redshaw back and brought them off the bench in the second half at 0-0, we went on to win the game 3-0 with those two playing a massive part in the result."

Bentley lost key forwards from last season's squad in the summer to other League 2 clubs but after adding Shaun Miller and Lewis Alessandra to his squad last week on top of Cole Stockton and John O'Sullivan, the Morecambe boss is confident he has recruited the right players to fill the void.

He added: "We tried our best to keep the players that we wanted to keep, once we know that they weren't going to be with us we had to identify the right targets to come in and hopefully improve that area.

"We had some good players last year who've left the club but once they've decided to go there's no more you can do, you can try your best to keep them but once they've made their mind up and they go elsewhere you wish them well, it's part and parcel of the game especially for clubs like us.

"All we have to do then is concentrate on the replacements and put all our energy into getting the right players in.

"I feel we've done that. We've kept some good players from last year, we already had some lads on contract, some have signed new contracts and the new lads that have come in have bedded in really well and are all making good progress.

"It's an exciting time, we've got some good players and I'm looking forward to what the future holds over the coming weeks and months."

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