Shrimps ready to clock up the miles

Shaun Miller

Shaun Miller

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Morecambe start a marathon month of travelling with a visit to League Two leaders Plymouth tomorrow.

The 660-mile round trip to Devon is the first of five away games before the end of November for the Shrimps.

Next week they head to Dagenham and Redbridge in the FA Cup first round, then there is the relative short hop to Rochdale for a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash.

After that, there are trips to Barnet and Stevenage to keep the coach driver busy.

While the next few weeks will acquaint Morecambe closely with the motorways and service stations between here and the south of England, Shrimps manager Jim Bentley wants his squad to embrace the challenge.

Bentley said: “This is a very southern orientated division but it is what it is.

“Plymouth is the furthest of the lot tomorrow and it has not helped drawing Dagenham in the FA Cup.

“The fixture list is how it is, we just have to make sure we recover right in between the games and embrace what is put in front of us.

“Sometimes, these long trips can help with the spirit among the squad.

“When you’ve got 18 or 19 lads on the coach, playing cards, talking and mixing, you can see a togetherness.

“We are preparing properly for the Plymouth game, the coach is setting off early and a lot of the lads will meet it a bit further down the M6 with them being Liverpool and Manchester based.

“On the way down we will stop and train, then we have an overnight stop in a hotel near to Plymouth.

“It might not guarantee us the right result but it is the correct preparation.”

The Shrimps will be looking to continue their good form on the road, with the defeat at Hartlepool on the opening day their one setback this season.

Bentley said: “In away games the home side comes at you a lot more, and with the pace we have in the team, it suits us to play on the counter attack.

“You could see that with the goals we scored at Carlisle, while at AFC Wimbledon we had five shots on target and scored with all five.

“Our counter-attacking play has been right up there with the best this season.”

Shaun Miller, Andy Fleming and Laurence Wilson hope to be back in contention at Home Park after injury.

Seven-goal Miller was a big miss in last week’s 1-0 home defeat to Leyton Orient.

Said Bentley: “We missed Shaun and that is no disrespect to Paul Mullin who is a very good player.

“Shaun is not just our striker in form, he is the League Two striker in form.

“He has scored seven goals in October and hopefully he can add to that tally.”