Shrimps are hoping to rock the Robins

The Morecambe camp hopes Ryan Edwards will be fit to return tomorrow

The Morecambe camp hopes Ryan Edwards will be fit to return tomorrow

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Jim Bentley takes his Morecambe team to Cheltenham Town tomorrow hoping for a timely change of fortune.

The Shrimps head to Gloucestershire on the back of six consecutive defeats in March, their worst run of losses for 16 years.

It sees them lying 19th in League Two, 13 points clear of the bottom two with seven games remaining.

Bentley’s squad is also beset by injuries and, for good measure, staff and players have been paid late for the third time this season.

They are also coming up against a Cheltenham side, looking to avenge one of their more eventful defeats this season.

The Robins were 2-1 winners at the Globe Arena in December, a match best remembered for Alex Kenyon’s red card followed by Bentley’s touchline ban, and £1,000 fine paid for by the Shrimps supporters.

“We are struggling a bit 
because we’ve had injuries and suspensions,” said 
Bentley. “I’m very frustrated because it’s been a tough season, the toughest I’ve had as a manager, and the most trying since I’ve been at the club.

“It seems to be catching up with us after having a decent February, where we put good points on the board.

“We are stretched with regards to bodies we have available and we’re lacking a physical presence.

“You take players like Cole Stockton and Tom Barkhuizen out of the equation and you’d suffer.”

Both Stockton and Barkhuizen have been big misses for the Shrimps since their 
pre-Christmas departures.

Barkhuizen provided pace and a goal threat all too evident since breaking into the Preston North End starting XI.

Tranmere Rovers loanee Stockton had netted 10 goals as well as providing the physical profile all too clearly lackin, given that the Shrimps’ playing surface does not encourage passing football.

As a result, Bentley has been left with a patched-up squad of 19 players for a run of 14 games in two months.

Bentley said: “The likes of Alex Kenyon will be back, 
Peter Murphy will be better for his rest last weekend and Ryan Edwards could be OK.

“Ryan has arguably been our best defender and our best player in the air so he’d be a big miss for what is a tough game.

“You take him out of the team and you’re going to feel it because he has that physical presence and aerial ability.”