Shrimps’ squad tested to the limit

Alex Kenyon came off injured when Morecambe lost to Barnet on Tuesday

Alex Kenyon came off injured when Morecambe lost to Barnet on Tuesday

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Jim Bentley takes his Morecambe side to Crawley Town tomorrow, admitting his squad will be pushed to the limit this month.

Rearranged fixtures mean the Shrimps are now halfway through an eight-game February, with midweek trips to Newport County and Portsmouth on the horizon. Having only been able to bring in Fleetwood Town loanee Michael Duckworth last month, Bentley has a squad of 19 senior players.

However, of those players, Andy Fleming and Dean 
Winnard have missed out recently through suspension and illness, while the midweek defeat to Barnet has also been costly.

Skipper Peter Murphy misses three games after losing an appeal against Tuesday’s red card, while Alex Kenyon’s injury to his knee saw him undergo surgery on Thursday.

Academy member Luke Jordan has stepped into the senior squad in recent weeks but another highly-rated youngster, Steve Yawson, is on a month’s loan at Kendal Town.

Adding to Bentley’s potential selection headache, central defender Ryan Edwards and midfielder Michael Rose are both on nine bookings.

One more caution for 
either player before the second Sunday in April and they are banned for two games.

“We lost Alex on Tuesday and, as we only have 19 senior 
players, it’s going to be so hard this month,” Bentley said.

“I know we’ll have people out of the team and the squad in the coming weeks because we will lose players through injuries and suspensions.

“That’s a different kind of headache to having a full squad because that is a nice problem.

“However, with this spell of 14 games in two months, as well as all of the travel and workload, it will be tough to keep everyone bang at it.”