Shrimps boss eager to bring in signings

Dean Winnard is suspended for tomorrows matchDean Winnard is suspended for tomorrows match
Dean Winnard is suspended for tomorrows match
Morecambe manager Jim Bentley hopes he can add to his options before the Shrimps' match at Leyton Orient tomorrow.

An already thin squad now looks positively threadbare after Alex Whitmore, Ntumba Massanka, Cole Stockton and James Jennings returned to their parent clubs earlier this month, following on from Tom Barkhuizen’s exit in November.

That left Bentley with a senior squad of 16 players, while working under a transfer embargo, and having to name some of the club’s younger players in order to fill the substitutes’ bench.

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Bentley has been able to add to his squad with the loan arrival of Everton’s Antony Evans; the 18-year-old attacking player has agreed a deal until the end of the season.

However, Bentley does not want the incomings to end with Evans’ possible arrival.

“There are a lot of things we can do with regards to the rules and regulations,” he said.

“It’s stupid to think we can run the rest of the season with only 16 players because you only need the odd suspension or injury here and there. When you look at February and March, we’ve also got the rearranged games against Newport County and Accrington Stanley, so there is a lot of football to be played.

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“Because of that, we need to get players in before the end of January and there have been things sorted out.

“We’re still under the embargo but we can still bring players in because we only have 16 players. We are working to get a couple more in before the weekend and trying to see what we can do by the end of January.”

Extra bodies will be needed at the Matchroom Stadium, with Bentley’s squad missing two players through suspension.

Andy Fleming sits out the second of his three-game ban for his red card against Notts County a fortnight ago.

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He will be joined on the sidelines by Dean Winnard, who has a one-match suspension following his dismissal at Carlisle United last Saturday. Against that backdrop, the Shrimps have rallied of late, with one defeat in five matches lifting them to 17th in the League Two table.

They are three places above tomorrow’s hosts, who have only taken seven points from the last 10 matches.

“On paper they have very good players,” Bentley said.

“They are a big club for this level and we have to be careful of them.”