AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley believes there should no longer be a stigma associated with competing in the National League.

Last October saw Bentley return to non-league football’s top tier for the first time since skippering Morecambe to promotion play-off victory at Wembley in 2007.

The next 12 seasons were spent establishing the Shrimps in League Two, firstly as a player and then as manager from 2011.

That stay ended last autumn when, with the Shrimps bottom of League Two after defeat at Stevenage, he accepted the job as Dave Challinor’s successor at Mill Farm.

Having been edged out in the majority of their games during a winless league run from November to March, Bentley’s players had taken seven points from their last three matches to lie only four from safety when the action halted.

It has been said that there isn’t a huge difference between National League and League Two, a view that Bentley can understand.

He said: “The standard in the National League is very good, very competitive.”

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