Bentley demands a positive outcome

Paul Mullin

Paul Mullin

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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has called on his players to end a tough week on a high when they travel to Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow.

The Shrimps head to Adams Park at the end of a seven-day period in which they were paid late, saw Tom Barkhuizen’s contract cancelled by mutual consent as well as draw with Coventry City in the FA Cup and beat Bradford City in the Checkatrade Trophy.

While things have been difficult off the field for everyone at the Globe Arena, the last two outings on the pitch have been especially promising against higher league opposition.

“We’ve spoken about how it’s no good just turning it on in cup games,” Bentley said.

“We’ve beaten Portsmouth who are one of the best teams in the division but we’ve got to be able to do it week in week out.

“Wycombe will be a tough game because they have strong players such as (Adebayo) Akinfenwa and (Aaron) Pierre and we’ll also see (former Morecambe player) Garry Thompson again.

“They seem to have picked up of late but, although we know it will be tough, we’re unbeaten away from home in six matches.”

Having seen their wages delayed – along with those of other club staff – the players and management team finally collected their salaries prior to Wednesday’s win over Bradford.

Bentley admitted it was a weight off the staff’s collective shoulder but praised his players for the way they focused on defeating the Bantams.

The 3-2 victory, in which Cole Stockton scored twice and Paul Mullin once, saw the Shrimps move into the last 32 of the Checkatrade Trophy.

Their reward is a trip to Scunthorpe United in the second round in the week commencing December 5.

“We were paid an hour before kick-off which is what we needed,” Bentley said.

“It hasn’t been an ideal time but we were focused on the game and credit again has to go to the players.

“I can’t praise them enough for the last 10 days; they’ve trained well and their spirit has been good.

“It’s been a trying time for all of us at the club but we have shown what we’re all about.

“We’re working class people; if your wages aren’t in then it’s testing and it’s been harder for some than others.

“Some people have got mortgages but some of the younger ones haven’t; some have kids but some haven’t.

“It’s also at the stage of the year where people are looking at Christmas; I’m sure Premier League and Championship players have enough in the bank but, at our level, what comes in goes out.”

Barkhuizen’s departure leaves the Shrimps with a hole in what was already a thin squad given injuries and loanees returning to their parent clubs in January.

It’s hoped Kevin Ellison will be back tomorrow, having missed the games with Coventry and Bradford through an ankle knock picked up against Exeter City.