2017/18 League Two Preview: Jim Bentley and Morecambeby Mike Holden / 13 July 2017, 10:51Tweet
Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Jim Bentley and Morecambe ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 League Two season.
Jim Bentley embarks on his seventh season as Morecambe boss, stronger for the fact that he comfortably navigated a path to survival in the sixth. The Shrimps were never really involved in a relegation battle at any stage, despite months of uncertainty when Brazilian owner Diego Lemos went AWOL and players went unpaid on three separate occasions. The ownership issues have now been resolved but funds remain tight. Once again, Bentley must overcome all sorts of logistical hurdles and another trademark fast start would do his cause no harm.
Bentley is a realist, able to survive and thrive under conditions of high uncertainty because he isn’t prone to drawing up detailed plans or working to strict schedules. He’s extremely adaptable and tends to see the funny side of most things, which is just as well. He’s also a great story-teller recalling past events in the most remarkable detail. From that, one assumes he also commands the attention of a dressing room whenever he’s got something important to say.
"Our home form needs to be better but we had a lot of things go against us last year. Some of the things that went on were beyond a joke, with regard to certain characters coming into the club and letting us down. It has been a tough summer but things are looking pretty good now. We have brought in some good players and we are still looking hard to bring in more before the season starts. Defence is definitely the priority."
There’s a sense of liberation around the Globe Arena after some of the bizarre things that went on last season and Bentley has moved quickly to bring in a handful of reinforcements. But Morecambe’s budget will invariably dictate that a bottom-half finish is a virtual certainty and the departures of Ryan Edwards and Paul Mullin could hit them hard. As ever, a lot will be riding on early results to keep the drop zone at arm’s length and prevent the pressure from mounting.
Prediction: survival battle