Morecambe boss Bentley: My minnows can shock big boys Portsmouth

Jim Bentley is hoping his Shrimps side can shock Portsmouth
Jim Bentley is hoping his Shrimps side can shock Portsmouth
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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley believes a victory over Portsmouth on Saturday would be like a classic cup upset.

Paul Cook’s side are the favourites to win League 2 this season and start their climb back up the divisions after two disappointing years in the Football League’s bottom tier.

The Shrimps on the other hand are once again rated amongst the favourites for the drop with Bentley relishing the challenge before his side at Fratton Park this weekend.

He said: “It would be a massive upset.

“We’re the minnows going into this. 
“They are the biggest club in our division and probably the division above.

“We are at totally different ends of the scale. People around the country will be looking at it and won’t think Morecambe will get anything from Portsmouth.

“But we know that we’re capable of beating anyone.

“We know we can ask questions of Portsmouth and that we’ll have to be on our toes at the back because they’ve got some very good players.

“There are eyebrows raised around the country every match day though when results throw themselves up that no-one expects and we’ve got to hope that’s the case this weekend.”

Follow the game with our Shrimps Live blog

The Shrimps haven’t enjoyed their two visits to Fratton Park however with both games ending 3-0 to the hosts.

Bentley believes it is important his side quieten the big and vocal Pompey following early on.

He said: “We know it’ll be a tough atmosphere to play in front of because they really do get behind their team.

“They’re very, very loud, very passionate and if they do get their noses in front the atmosphere makes things even harder.

“We’ve got to try and start quickly to quieten them.

“It’s a challenge but one that we’re all looking forward to.

“We’re going there to enjoy it and we’ll be doing all we can to try and get something from the game.”

Bentley knows current Pompey boss Cook well after his spells with Accrington and Chesterfield and believes he can be the man to lead the 2008 FA Cup winners back to former glories.

The Shrimps chief said: “Portsmouth in my opinion are the favourites to go up this season.

“I’ll be very surprised if they don’t go up automatically.

“I know Paul Cook very well and I know what he’s all about and how he’ll get them going.

“He’s done it with Chesterfield and I’m sure it’ll be the same at Portsmouth.”

Apart from the long-term knee injury to captain Peter Murphy, Bentley will have a full squad to choose from at Fratton Park.

Jamie Devitt was rested against Wycombe after complaining of fatigue and tightness but is expected to return for the trip to the south coast.

Follow the game with our Shrimps Live blog