Morecambe boss Bentley: Oxford will be up there in League 2 this season
Jim Bentley believes his Morecambe side face one of the League 2 favourites in Oxford United on Saturday.
Both sides are on 13 points in League 2 with Michael Appleton’s men two places above The Shrimps in fifth on goal difference.
Having finished 13th in the Football League’s bottom tier last season Bentley now believes The Us are in a good position to have a say at the sharp end of the division this time around.
Bentley said: “Everything’s in place for them, a big stadium and a big fanbase.
“They’ve got a good training ground too and have invested. “They’ll expect to be there or thereabouts.
“The expectation can lay heavy on some teams but Oxford look like they’re doing okay.
“They are in the top five and will have ambitions of getting out of the division because they are a big club at his level.
“It’s good opportunity to see where we’re at against one of the top teams in the division.”
Bentley knows there are plenty of players to watch, most notably five-goal former West Bromwich Albion youngster Kemar Roofe.
The Shrimps have however impressed on their travels this season and looked a real threat on the break, something which should give Bentley and his side plenty of confidence.
He said: “They’re a very good footballing side and they’ve got someone who looks like being one of the best players in the division in Roofe.
“He’s been doing very well, Danny Hylton’s been doing very well.
“There’s (John) Lundstram who not so long ago was in the under 21s at Everton and was tipped as having as bright a future as Ross Barkley. They’ve got good players all over the pitch and are blessed with a really good, strong squad.
“They’ve got the same number of points as us but it’s going to be a tough game for us away from home.
“But we’ve done well on our travels and we know that we’re capable of hurting anyone.
“We’ve got the players to do that but we just need to tighten up at the back.
“Whether that takes something away from our attacking flair or not it’s just finding that fine balance.”
The game at the Kassam Stadium will see Bentley’s side look to bounce back from a 4-2 defeat at home to Northampton last time out, a result that led to The Shrimps boss dishing out some stern words post match.
He said; “It’s been an interesting week.
“It was a horrible day for us but in football you can’t look back you’ve got to look forwards.
“We’re trying to remain as positive as possible.
“We’re seventh from the top of League 2 and we’re looking forward to the next challenge at Oxford.”