Morecambe fan James Main give us the lowdown on tonight’s visitors ahead of the Checkatrade Trophy second round tie at Glanford Park.
You had a really good start to the season, managing four wins out of your opening five games. Results seemed to take a turn for the worst following that run, but a win against league leaders Plymouth must give you confidence that you can pull away from the drop zone heading into the Christmas period?
JM: The win against Plymouth was most certainly a relief and to beat the league leaders in the way that we did was outstanding. The scoreline didn’t reflect the tone of the game to be honest, Morecambe could’ve scored five or even six goals! It certainly showed what we’re capable of and it does give me some confidence that we can pull away from the threat of entering the drop zone.
You’ve already beaten Bradford and a fairly decent Stoke reserve side in this competition. How seriously are the club taking it and how important is a good cup run for Morecambe?
JM: The club appear to taking the competition somewhat seriously compared to other clubs. They have used it as an opportunity to experiment with the formation, but reasonably strong sides have been put out still although Danijel Nizic has been given the opportunity in goal instead of the usual first choice keeper Barry Roche.
A cup run in this competition is very important for Morecambe. It is the only cup competition that we remain in, and with the club struggling financially at the moment the prize money offered in this competition is important to the club.
Jim Bentley has been manager at Morecambe quite a while now following a long spell playing for the club. How is he doing and what sort of side has he put together this term?
JM: In his time at the club, Jim Bentley has done a brilliant job considering the circumstances. He has worked on one of the smallest budgets in the league, and he has managed to bring in good players who can do a job for us. He has kept us in the Football League, defying the odds year by year.
The squad this year is smaller than Jim would like, but it is still a squad capable of getting results. We have recently lost a key player in Tom Barkhuizen, and Rhys Turner appears to be stepping up to fill the void.
Kevin Ellison is still playing regularly for the Shrimps and has often proven to be a thorn in our side over the years! Which other players should we look out for in the Morecambe side?
JM: Kevin Ellison was Bentley’s first signing as manager, and in my opinion he’s been Bentley’s best signing! He has been a brilliant servant to the club, scoring over 50 goals for the club. He seems to be ageing a bit now but it appears that Jim is hoping to get at least another year out of him.
Three players to look out for would be Dean Winnard, Aaron Wildig and Michael Rose (ex Scunthorpe loanee). Winnard has been a great addition to the squad, and is solid at the back- however he has been struggling with injury recently so whether he will be played is another question. Aaron Wildig is another who has struggled with injury, but when he has featured he has made a real difference to the attack contributing with his pace and excellent eye for a pass.
Michael Rose has made an excellent contribution to the side since joining in the summer, and has been ever present. His vision for a pass is excellent, and he has been a key player really adding some quality an experience to the side.
Finally, do you have a score prediction?
JM: 2-1 to Scunthorpe.