Back-to-back victories could give Shrimps momentum

Morecambe manager Jim Bentley
Morecambe manager Jim Bentley
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Morecambe play their final group game in this season’s Checkatrade Trophy tonight with boss Jim Bentley hoping they can build upon last Saturday’s FA Cup success.

The Shrimps host Leicester City’s youngsters at the Globe Arena, looking for back-to-back victories for the first time this season after their 3-0 victory against Hartlepool United last time out.

The hope is that Bentley’s players claim victory and then use those cup wins as the basis for improvement in League Two, where they presently sit in the bottom two.

“It was a massive game on Saturday against a team doing really well,” Bentley said.

“The Checkatrade Trophy is a competition which isn’t backed as much as the FA Cup so we won’t have the atmosphere we had on Saturday.

“We had a good win, which breeds confidence but we haven’t turned the corner by a long shot. The league programme is the most important thing but we have an opportunity to back up the cup win with another win on Tuesday night.

“Hopefully we can try and build some momentum going into another big league game against Wycombe Wanderers this weekend.

“You have seen what happens with Port Vale recently – they won three on the spin, turned the corner and it gives everyone a shot in the arm.”

Any victory tonight would be Morecambe’s first in the competition this season.

Defeats to Fleetwood Town and Carlisle United in their opening group games mean the Shrimps appear, on paper, unlikely to make the knockout stages.

They are four goals worse off than second-placed Carlisle, meaning they have to beat Leicester’s youngsters and hope Fleetwood do them a favour with victory against the Cumbrians on Wednesday night.

Bentley may use the match to give game time to some of his fringe players, allowing them to stake their claim for a starting spot on Saturday.

Victory would also benefit the club financially via the Trophy’s prize fund, backing up the £18,000 they earned for the FA Cup win.

“That’s why our squad is a bit bigger this season,” 
Bentley said.

“Players will play because they are chomping at the bit and, with three home games in a week, injuries will play a part.

“Whatever team goes out will be left in no doubt as to what is expected of them.

“We don’t know a lot about the opposition we’re coming up against but, hopefully, we can back up the Hartlepool win and set ourselves up nicely for the league campaign.”