Shrimps face Cod Army

Padriag Amond scored against Fleetwood

Padriag Amond scored against Fleetwood

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Jim Bentley is targeting four more points to keep Morecambe out of the League Two relegation zone.

The Shrimps have dropped alarmingly down the table since the turn of the year and are casting anxious glances over their shoulders.

Five points separate them from Northampton Town in 23rd place and Bentley’s men need to start finding some form.

With Torquay marooned at the bottom of the table, there is, in reality, just one more relegation slot to be filled.

Given Morecambe’s form earlier in the season – which had them on the fringes of the play-off places – the fact they are involved in a relegation battle at all is surprising.

But since beating Fleetwood with a Padriag Amond goal on Boxing Day, they have won only twice in 18 games.

It is the Cod Army who they face tomorrow at Highbury Stadium (3.07pm).

Shrimps boss Bentley said: “At the moment it’s about keeping calm. It might get worse before it gets better.

“We’ve got two of the biggest games that you can have in Fleetwood away and Scunthorpe at home.

“It could get a little bit sticky before it gets better but in my opinion we need a win and a draw.

“Even just a win might be enough at the moment to get us over that 50-point barrier.

“It takes its toll –you’re constantly looking at other people’s results and looking at everyone else’s fixtures.

“But at the end of the day it’s about what we do – it’s about what we do.

“It’s in our hands. We’ve got to go into every game feeling positive.

“The lads know the situation that we’re in – it’s a difficult situation but it is a challenge which we’ve all got to rise to.”

Morecambe will be missing Andy Fleming, the midfielder starting a three-match suspension after being sent off in last week’s home defeat to Bristol Rovers.

The trip to the Fylde coast looks a tough assignment, with Fleetwood right in the promotion mix.

Graham Alexander’s side are fourth in the table, three points shy of the automatic pace.

Said Bentley: “It’s a derby match and we beat them 1-0 on Boxing Day, which was a great result. At the very least they will be in the play-offs and they’ve got the chance, if one of the top three slip up, to push for automatic promotion.

“We both need the points for different reasons.”