Keeper crisis is not an excuse for Jim

On-loan Scott Davies cannot play for Morecambe tomorrow
On-loan Scott Davies cannot play for Morecambe tomorrow
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Morecambe boss Jim Bentley urged his men to up their game if they want to avoid becoming giantkilling victims in tomorrow’s FA Cup first round clash with Dover.

The Shrimps travel to The Crabble on the back of two straight defeats and Bentley knows the Conference outfit will be hoping to take advantage of his side’s recent wobble.

But Bentley urged his men – who are 10th in the League Two table – to step up to the plate and use the clash as a springboard.

He said: “It’s a nice distraction to go and play in the FA Cup. But we’ve got to make sure as a group we tighten up and do the ugly side of the game better and get back to winning ways.

“On paper, we should win the game – we’re the Football League side, we’re full time.

“But we’re going to have to make sure we’re on it. If we dip as individuals or a group then it’s going to be a very difficult game.

“We really want to win – not just to give ourselves and the fans a little lift but the prospect of the next rounds.

“Every club wants to get to the third round because of drawing Premier League opponents. This is the first step and we’ve got to get over it.”

Morecambe are in the midst of a goalkeeping crisis after an injury to first-choice shot-stopper Barry Roche and a midweek set back for Andreas Arestidou, who went over on his ankle after returning to training.

Bentley brought Scott Davies in on loan from Fleetwood to cover for Roche but Cod Army boss Graham Alexander has blocked Davies from playing to prevent him becoming cup-tied.

Bentley is set to sign another keeper on loan today.

He said: “We’re having a little bit of a wobble at the minute with regards to performances and the keeper situation but we can’t use any of that as an excuse.

“We thought if Scott was cup tied we’d have Andreas ready to come in and play but unfortunately we now need another goalkeeper to come in.”

Jamie Devitt is out with a torn hamstring but Jack Redshaw and Andy Wright should return.

And Bentley believes Chris Kinnear’s men will be a tough test.

He said: “At least we have got some experience of being in Dover’s position.

“They are a big, strong, physical side, fighting for their lives in the Conference Premier.

“They’ve got good players in forward positions and I thought Stefan Payne looked a good player against Southport and there’s a bit of league experience in there too.”