Bentley is ready to set record straight

On the way back: Kevin Ellison should be fit for Morecambe'd derby with Accrington
On the way back: Kevin Ellison should be fit for Morecambe'd derby with Accrington
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Morecambe are out to end their hoodoo against Lancashire rivals Accrington Stanley this afternoon.

The Shrimps meet their derby rivals in today’s Boxing Day clash at the Globe Arena.

To say Morecambe have endured a wretched run against Stanley would be a slight understatement.

In eight matches between the pair since Morecambe’s elevation to the Football League in 2007, Stanley have won six with the other two ending in draws.

In fact, Stanley have won nine of the past 12 games going back to the clubs’ Conference days – Morecambe’s only win arriving in 2005, a 3-2 victory at Christie Park.

Manager Jim Bentley knows only too well the poor record his club has against John Coleman’s men, having played in most of those games.

It is a record he is aiming to turn around, starting today.

Morecambe have slipped down to 11th in League Two having collected just two points from a possible 15.

In complete contrast, Coleman’s men could leapfrog Morecambe in the table if they win having won four of their last five games. They are just two points and places below Bentley’s men.

He said: “We’ve got a tough game against Accrington today. They have been a little bit of a bogey side for us over the past few years.

“We know what we are facing when we come up against John Coleman’s side.

“They will be really up for it and will give us a really hard, physical game and we must be ready for that.

“But they can play a bit too and are in the middle of a really good run and the fact they could go ahead of us in the league will be a real motivation for them.’’

“But it’s a game that we look forward to and hopefully it will be the game that we get back to winning ways.”

Coleman acknowledged his club’s fine record over their close rivals over the past few years, but he reckons it will count for nothing come 3pm today.

It will also be the first time he has faced Bentley in the dug-out, and the Stanley boss admits he has nothing but respect for the rookie Shrimps manager.

Coleman said: “We have a good record against Morecambe but it will count for nothing today.

“I have a lot of time for Jim Bentley. I like the way he conducts himself and I am not surprised that he has done well as a manager.

“You get a feeling about players who go into management and have success and he ticked all the boxes.

“These are the games we have got to get points from if we are to have any aspirations of challenging for the play-offs again this season.

“We have got ourselves in a position where we are looking upwards and now we have got to keep the run going.”

Bentley is hoping two of his more influential players – Kevin Ellison and Laurence Wilson – will back in the squad today after missing last weekend’s defeat to Swindon.

He said: “Kevin and Laurence are both very competitive players and these are the sort of games where they are really important to us.”