Shrimps seek shooting boots

Tom Barkhuizen has pace to trouble defences (photo: Matt Rushton)
Tom Barkhuizen has pace to trouble defences (photo: Matt Rushton)
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Boss Jim Bentley is confident his side will find their scoring form sooner rather than later.

The Shrimps have created plenty of chances so far this season but have just one goal in four games ahead of the trip to Portsmouth tomorrow.

Bentley said: “We scored plenty of goals in pre-season and we continue to create chances.

“We’ve got to make sure we get it right in the final third, though, because it is about putting the ball in the back of the net.

“The time to worry is when we aren’t creating anything but hopefully it’ll turn sooner rather than later. It just seems most things are going against us whether it be little rubs of the green or referring decisions, all those little bits.

“We got to make sure we continue to believe in ourselves and keep working hard and I’m sure we’ll get back on track.”

Shaun Miller, making his first start, and Tom Barkhuizen, making his first appearance this season after a thigh injury, both impressed in the defeat to Wycombe on Tuesday night and could help Morecambe’s goalscoring fortunes.

Bentley said: “I think we’ve got a decent squad. I think it’s better equipped than it was last season.

“Shaun Miller has missed quite a bit of pre-season while he was looking for a club but I thought he showed some great signs against 
Wycombe.

“Tom Barkhuizen had a bit of thigh injury but with his pace he’ll cause opposition defences problems.

“There’s good balance about the group and yeah we’ve lost our captain (Peter Murphy) which is a body blow but I think the other lads have acquitted themselves okay. We’re not far away, we have had a little bit of a disappointing start with regards to goals scored but we’re not getting battered by anyone.”

Apart from the long-term knee injury to captain Murphy, Bentley will have a full squad to choose from at Fratton Park.

Jamie Devitt was rested against Wycombe after complaining of fatigue and tightness but is expected to return for the trip to the south coast.

Bentley said: “He was very tired on Monday morning. Do we run the risk of 
playing him? He has had a 
history of hamstring injuries in the past.

“He’s much better equipped to deal with it than in the past with the work that he’s done.

“He’s put a bit of bulk on and the penny has dropped with what he needs to do.

“We’ve got him in good shape, he’s a player that’s had an up and down career with loan moves and he’s never really strung games together.

“We’ve given him that opportunity now but it’s important that we don’t just flog him. He’ll be fit and well after a couple of days rest.”