Difficult finish does not put off Bentley

Aaron Wildig suffered a tight hamstring on Easter Monday

Aaron Wildig suffered a tight hamstring on Easter Monday

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley admits he does not mind having a tough end to the League Two season.

Having gone into April on the back of half-a-dozen consecutive defeats which saw them drop down the table, the Shrimps faced an arduous last seven games.

Relegation battlers Cheltenham Town and Hartlepool United were first up, followed by five teams either in the play-offs or just outside the top seven – Stevenage, Colchester United, Luton Town, Wycombe Wanderers and tomorrow’s hosts, Exeter City.

On paper, that was one of the most difficult run-ins the club could have had but five points against Hartlepool, Stevenage and Colchester have effectively secured Morecambe’s Football League status for another 12 months.

“It depends,” Bentley said when asked about the potential difficulties of those final seven games.

“You might be playing a team that’s got nothing to play for and are relaxed, so you can see some freak results at this stage of the season.

“You can’t predict anything as some teams will take their foot off the gas a little bit and use these games to play some youngsters.

“Other teams will look to finish strongly and some teams will have something to play for but all I’m interested in is what we can do.”

Sitting nine points clear of the bottom two with three games remaining, Bentley has challenged his players to finish the season in style – even if it means ruining others’ play-off hopes.

“I said after beating Stevenage that we’ve finished strongly and had a big effect at the top end of the table before,” he said. “That looks the case again this year with 
Exeter, Luton and Wycombe being in the mix.

“We’re three games unbeaten and I’m pleased for the fans – everyone knows that it’s been a difficult season.

“Every week we’ve dragged it out of each other to get the job done but we want as many points on the board as we can.

“If that means other people overtaking other people in the table then so be it.”

It is hoped Lee Molyneux will be able to start on Saturday after a foot injury saw him drop to the bench on Easter Monday.

Ryan Edwards was absent last time out with a knee injury, while Aaron Wildig came off at half-time on Monday with a tight hamstring.