Morecambe host Swindon Town tomorrow with manager Jim Bentley hoping Vadaine Oliver’s midweek goal will do him the world of good.
The striker has become the poster boy for the Shrimps’ perceived struggles up front since joining the club in the summer of 2017.
Oliver’s goal in Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy defeat at Carlisle United was only his fifth in 44 appearances for Morecambe.
Although Bentley has bolstered his attacking options with the arrivals of Jason Oswell, A-Jay Leitch-Smith, Liam Mandeville, Rhys Oates and Joe Piggott, the manager has full confidence in Oliver.
“Vadaine Oliver was a handful throughout,” Bentley said of the 26-year-old’s display on Tuesday.
“I was pleased for him and pleased with his reaction, coming over to thank myself and Kenny (Ken McKenna, assistant manager).
“He hasn’t got the goals he wants but I’ll never have anyone criticise someone working extremely hard – and that’s what he’s doing.
“Some of the criticism he’s coming in for is a little bit unjust; his goal record hasn’t been great recently but he’s getting chances, working extremely hard and giving it everything for the team.”
Tuesday’s loss was a third straight defeat in league and cup for the Shrimps.
As well as they have played this season, they have still lost seven of their eight league and cup matches so far.
The Carlisle defeat was their a microcosm of their season so far; a much changed Shrimps side failed to take some good chances and were undone at the other end.
“Again, we were really pleased with the performance,” Bentley said.
“There are lots of positives but it’s unfortunate we didn’t get the result we wanted.”