Jim is haunted by derby clash

Jim Bentley
Jim Bentley
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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley admitted he is still haunted by last season’s dreary derby display against Accrington Stanley ahead of tonight’s Halloween clash.

The Shrimps boss is determined to put his side’s poor record against Accrington Stanley to one side.

Jack Redshaw

Jack Redshaw

Morecambe are eighth in the League Two table and are aiming to get a first Football League win over 16th-placed Stanley at the 15th attempt at the Crown Ground tonight.

And Bentley revealed last season’s 5-1 defeat was one of the worst days of his managerial career.

He said: “It was one of, if not my lowest point as a manager.

“It was just one of those days. Any manager will tell you there are some games in a season where you’re just not at the races.

“It was like that in the 2-0 defeat to Exeter last Sunday. We deserved nothing from it and got put to the sword. It was embarrassing and we owe Accrington.”

But Bentley wants to put old ghosts to bed and not dwell on the hoodoo.

He said: “We know what it means to the fans, we know what it means to the club.

“They have got that sign over us very similar to the way we are with Southend.

“Unfortunately it’s our local derby and I’d rather we’d won a couple against Accrington and lost a couple against Southend.

“But it’s not been that way. Hopefully times will change on Friday.

“I think once you go into the records and stats, it’s just pointless. At the end of the day it’s 11 men against 11.

“Both sets of supporters will get right behind their teams, both dugouts will be passionate and we’ll see what happens.”

Barry Roche and Jamie Devitt are long-term absentees for the Shrimps with Kevin Ellison and Alan Goodall battling hamstring problems.

But despite the Shrimps’ injury woes tomorrow’s clash is even tastier as Bentley will lock horns once again with Morecambe legend and returning Stanley manager John Coleman.

Along with Bentley’s assistant Ken McKenna the group are friends but the Shrimps boss has his eyes on the prize.

He said: “I know Coley well and Jimmy Bell his assistant.

“They’ve done a fantastic job since they’ve gone back there. They’re already quite settled and always do a good job.

“Accy have had a couple of decent wins and have been a little bit up and down of late.

“They know the game and the level and it’s good to see them back. Myself and Kenny are good mates with them but for that 90 minutes we’ll do battle and that’s the way it should be.”