Boss Jim Bentley hopes Shaun Miller can fire Morecambe back to winning ways

Shaun Miller.

Shaun Miller.

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Jim Bentley hopes Shaun Miller will be the man to fire his side back to winning ways.

The Shrimps’ 12-goal top scorer is back from a three-game suspension at Crawley on Saturday having been dismissed for a two-footed tackle in the defeat to Oxford.

It is a welcome return for the front man with Morecambe looking for a first win in 10 League 2 games.

Bentley said: “He’s a big player for us, he has been all season.

“It’s another incident that has gone against us.

“I don’t think Andy Fleming’s got a leg to stand on with his sending off (for a hair pull against Bristol Rovers) and it was a silly thing to do.

“Shaun Miller’s though I don’t think it was a sending off. People might disagree with that but it’s cost us.

“We’re not blessed to be overloaded in that area anyway.

“We’ve played (Kevin) Ellison up front with (Paul) Mullin in the last couple of games and I think it’s worked well but Shaun coming back in will definitely strengthen us because we’ve missed him over the last three games.

“The little bit of rest he’s had will have recharged the batteries for him and he’ll be chomping at the bit.

“Hopefully he can be the one to get a couple of goals and get us that win.”

Elsewhere The Shrimps are still stretched with Andy Fleming serving the final game of his ban.

Adam Dugdale is also still out with a foot injury but Shaun Beeley, who limped off against Luton on Tuesday night with hamstring problem, and Andy Parrish, who has missed the last two games through illness, are in contention to return.

While insisting he doesn’t want to make excuses, Bentley believes the raft of injuries have played a big part in The Shrimps’ woeful run.

He said: “Peter Murphy the captain’s been out all season, Shaun Beeley the vice-captain went off before half time on Tuesday, Adam Dugdale is the third in line to be the captain and he’s out injured and Andy Parrish the fourth in the line has been ill.

“Shaun Miller’s been out the last three games and he’s our top scorer and Andy Fleming’s been out the last two games and has got one more to serve and has arguably been our best player since the turn of the year.

“If you take all those out of the equation in a stretched, small squad which has been overworked throughout the season it’s very difficult.”

Injuries mean the captaincy could be up in the air on Saturday but Bentley wants all his team to stand up and be counted.

He said: “In football teams you get some who are strong minded, some who need an arm round them, some who are vocal and some who are quiet but at this stage of the season it’s about everyone being a captain.”