'˜New owners may not want me' admits Shrimps boss
Jim Bentley's long association with Morecambe could very well be in its final throes.
The Shrimps boss admitted this week that his future as manager is uncertain after chairman Peter McGuigan put the club up for sale last month.
Having served the Shrimps as a player for nearly 10 years – captaining them to promotion to the Football League in 2007 – Bentley took over the reins at the Globe Arena after Sammy McIlroy’s departure in the summer of 2011.
He has continued to keep the club competitive in League Two over the past five years and barring a catastrophe over the final few weeks of this season, the Shrimps look set to celebrate a decade as a league outfit next year.
They are currently in 18th position in the table – 14 points above the relegation zone with only six games left of their campaign to go.
Bentley – who watched his side lose 2-1 away at bottom side Dagenham and Redbridge in midweek – is continuing to plan ahead both this season and beyond, but accepted a successful takeover bid could spell the end for him at the club.
“I think it’s fair to say that the future is uncertain – including my own,” said Bentley, who is preparing his side to face Hartlepool United at home on Saturday.
“I have a very good relationship with the chairman – I get on very well with him.
“But if a new owner comes in – he might want his own man as manager and that will mean I will be down the road.
“So until whatever happens – we will just try to plan ahead as normal. You have to do that because the chairman will still be planning to be at the football club.
“He’s put it up for sale but who knows what is going to happen? Who knows what the future holds for anybody at the football club?
“It is a little bit uncertain at the moment and a bit different to what we have been used to.”
Determined to maintain a ‘business as usual’ outlook, Bentley is focusing on this weekend’s game against Hartlepool.
Pools have enjoyed an upturn in form and results in recent weeks since appointing former Middlesbrough and Blackburn Rovers winger Craig Hignett as manager.
Their 1-0 defeat to Carlisle United on Tuesday brought to an end a seven-game unbeaten run which included five wins.
“It’s a nice game for us. They are coming off the back of a good run and we had a good win at home last Saturday against Barnet,” said Bentley.
The Shrimps have injury concerns over Jamie Devitt and Cole Stockton, who picked up niggles in midweek, while Aaron Wildig (hamstring) Chris Doyle (tonsillitis) will be assessed prior to kick-off.