Shrimps need change of luck

Padraig Amond scores for Morecambe at Exeter
Padraig Amond scores for Morecambe at Exeter
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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley is hoping lady luck smiles on his side tomorrow when they welcome Oxford United to the Globe Arena.

The Shrimps are in the middle of a rocky patch of form and have not registered a win in their last eight games in League Two since beating Fleetwood Town at home 1-0 on Boxing Day.

As a result, Morecambe have slipped inside the bottom half of the division, although they are a comfortable 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

On Saturday, they were beaten 2-1 at high-flying Rochdale but earned a valuable point in midweek at Exeter City, Padraig Amond’s goal earning a 1-1 draw.

“If you look at the last nine games since we won against Fleetwood, it’s four draws and four defeats,” Bentley said.

“And if we have lost it’s only been by the odd goal.

“So all the games have been tight. I find myself using the same terms of fine dividing lines, not much between the teams, tight games.

“It’s just defining moments – whether it’s a lucky bounce, a refereeing decision – so we’ve not had much luck but these things happen. When we went 10 games unbeaten, we had that bit of luck.

“I’m a believer that you earn your own luck by hard work and it will even itself out.

“But we’ve got a lot of tough games to come.”

Tomorrow’s opponents Oxford are firmly in the hunt for an automatic promotion spot. They lie in third spot – four points off leaders Chesterfield.

They were beaten 3-2 by Newport County in midweek – the first time they have lost on their travels this season.

Bentley said: “Oxford are one of the top sides. Is it a good time to play them? Maybe, because they’ve just lost for the first time away from home.

“They’ve got one or two injuries and they probably won’t fancy coming up to Morecambe.

“We’re back at home after two away trips in front of our fans and hopefully they can get right behind us and we can give it a right good go.”

Full-back Shaun Beeley is set to return for the Shrimps after missing out at Exeter with a sore knee, while Alex Kenyon is also available after a three-match ban.

Jamie Devitt is suspended after his red card at St James’ Park in what would have been the final game of his loan spell. But the Shrimps are working to extend it for another month.

Jack Redshaw is set to be assessed after suffering from a bug in the warm-up at St James’ Park.

Bentley said: “He’s had this little bug that started in the warm up at Exeter on Tuesday.

“We got told it was gastroenteritis and paramedics had to look at him.

“He even travelled home on his own so he didn’t pass anything on.

“He’s beggining to get a little bit of food down him and wasn’t in yesterday but if he’s back in training today, hopefully he can play a part on Saturday.”