Shrimps boss hits out at critics

Jack Redshaw
Jack Redshaw
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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has fired a broadside at his detractors ahead of this weekend’s trip to AFC Wimbledon.

Despite the Shrimps currently occupying a play-off spot in League Two after a terrific start to the season, Bentley came in for some heavy criticism after Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Mansfield.

The Stags stole all three points at Field Mill with a last-gasp winner.

But it was Bentley’s decision to make five changes to the team which won 2-1 against Plymouth on Saturday which infuriated the club’s fans.

Morecambe started with a 3-5-2 formation but abandoned it in the second half as they reverted to a more conventional flat back four.

Bentley said: “This is the only industry where everyone else knows your job better than you. Everyone’s got favourites, everyone’s got their winning formula. “It’s all very well people saying, ‘You should have done that, you should have done this’ at the end of the game.

“We changed the formation to win the game in the last 20 minutes and we did threaten.

“We went for it and if we had got a winning goal then people would have been saying it was a masterstroke that I rested players and came away with a 1-0 win. “I’m not going to dwell on it. I’m the one who makes the decisions. We lost the game unfortunately but we’re fourth in the league.

“The three games that we’ve lost have all been by the odd goal. Last minute on Tuesday, last minute at Tranmere and a goal against Bradford that could have been disallowed.”

Bentley explained the reasons why he decided to make so many changes on Tuesday.

“I’ve got to look at the bigger picture,” he said. “We want to do well and win games now but we’ve got to look towards the second half of the season because that’s been our downfall in the past.

“I’m not going to flog anyone until they blow up. I’ve got to make sure I manage the squad and there’s not much between the personnel.

“The bottom line is I changed things for the right reasons.”

Wimbledon will provide a stern test tomorrow – especially after they crushed league leaders Burton Albion 3-0 at home in midweek.

“Their win over Burton just sums up the league for me,” Bentley said.

“Wimbledon hadn’t won for four games, Burton are flying and for them to concede three is unheard of.”

Striker Jack Redshaw and defender Shaun Beeley should return tomorrow but Laurence Wilson is a long-term absentee.