Shaun Beeley: First goal always to maintain Football League status

Shaun Beeley challenges Carlisle's Jabo Ibehre.
Shaun Beeley challenges Carlisle's Jabo Ibehre.

Shaun Beeley insists that despite a season of disappointment securing Morecambe’s 10th Football League season should be considered an achievement.

An alarming slide in 2016 saw The Shrimps finish 21st in League 2 with their lowest ever points total of 46 from 46 games played.

Beeley, who stood in for injured captain Peter Murphy for most of the season, conceded the side had fallen well below pre-season expectations but believes that the be all and end all for Morecambe is ensuring Football League status.

He said: “We’re not a massive club and you’ve done well if you stay in the league.

“We’ve stayed in the league but we did hope for better.

“It’s been a story of highs and lows. Attacking wise we’ve done well but defensively we’ve been weak.

“You can’t get away from the fact that the first goal at the start of the season was to maintain league status.

“Whether you finish 10th, 11th or just above relegation you’ve got the same end goal.

“We’re in League 2 for another year and that’s an achievement in itself.”

Beeley admitted that uncertainty for many of players about their futures hasn’t helped matters.

The right back is one of a number of players whose futures are up in the air, The Shrimps having just eight players under contract as chairman Peter McGuigan looks to confirm the sale of the club in the coming weeks.

Beeley said: “With football the best thing for a player is certainty.

“With slight bits of uncertainty it can wobble you because you don’t know what’s happening.

“You’ll get fans who say ‘you get paid to do a job’, and I understand that.

“But with football being such a mental sport as well as physical it can affect you massively on game day.

“Even if it’s that one or two per cent it can affect your performance.”

Next season the former Fleetwood man knows the main thing The Shrimps need to remedy is their defensive problems.

The Shrimps shipped an alarming 91 goals as the backline was exposed time and again with heavy defeats against the likes of Cambridge, Hartlepool and Stevenage making for a miserable end to the season.

Beeley said: “Some of the players we’ve got are amongst the best in the league but you have seasons like this.

“It’s all about looking at where we can improve next year and that’s tightening the defence up and other little bits.

“You then go again with the same goal.

“Making sure you maintain league status and then hope you can push for the play-offs.”