Shrimps close to safety

Chris McCready
Chris McCready
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Morecambe are just one win away from safety – that is the view of manager Jim Bentley.

The Shrimps are currently in 18th spot in League Two – eight points clear of the drop zone with six games of the season left.

While a victory over Mansfield Town at the Globe Arena tomorrow will not mathematically secure Morecambe’s status as a Football League club for another season, Bentley believes his men are tantalisingly close to avoiding relegation.

And should they break the all-important 50-points barrier this weekend, it will come as a great relief for Bentley, who admits to harbouring great doubts at the start of the campaign after being forced to cut thousands of pounds from the club’s playing budget.

“I think one more win will probably see us right,” Bentley said.

“This stage last season when I knew how much we were going to cut from the budget and the players we were going to lose, I did think that we could struggle this season.

“But one more win takes us over that 50-point barrier – five points off what we finished with last season.

“That will be a great effort if we can get that all-important win. I say we will be safe with one win – you’d like to think so.

“You would never take your foot off the gas, and the horrible thing about football is that nothing is certain.

“But the sooner we get 
that win the better, then we can start looking at picking 
off a few of the teams above us.”

Although Morecambe are still looking nervously over their shoulder at the bottom, they are only two points off tomorrow’s opponents Mansfield, who find themselves in 13th place.

The Shrimps should gain confidence after beating the Stags 2-1 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.

And they will be eager to turn around a poor run of form, which has seen pick up just two points from their last five games – including last Saturday’s last-gasp 1-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers.

“Mansfield are probably one of the most physical sides in the division,” Bentley said.

“We know what type of players they have got.

“They are big and strong and like to get it forward – big on set-plays.

“We know it’s going to be a battle but we have to stand up and be counted.”

On the injury front, Chris McCready is major doubt after coming off against Bristol with a pulled thigh muscle, while Andy Wright is suffering with a dead leg.

Defender Andy Parrish is set to return to the squad after missing last weekend.