Derek Adams: Morecambe players are well prepared for the new season

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Derek Adams is looking forward to the return of competitive football this afternoon when Morecambe begin the new League One season.

The Shrimps welcome Shrewsbury Town to the Mazuma Stadium as they look to consolidate on their first season as a third tier club.

Adams’ players go into the game on the back of half-a-dozen pre-season friendlies which brought a mixed bag of results.

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There was a win at Stalybridge Celtic, draws against Macclesfield, Chester and Carlisle United, as well as defeats to Huddersfield Town and Middlesbrough.

Morecambe drew their final pre-season game against Carlisle United Picture: Michael WilliamsonMorecambe drew their final pre-season game against Carlisle United Picture: Michael Williamson
Morecambe drew their final pre-season game against Carlisle United Picture: Michael Williamson
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While some may be tempted to dwell on results, coaching teams invariably concentrate on building up fitness, integrating new signings and seeing how players react to different tactical set-ups.

From that point of view, Adams is happy with how the last six weeks have gone – even if he isn’t a huge fan when it comes to certain elements of the build-up.

He admitted: “I don’t really like pre-season because you’re under jurisdiction to give everyone an opportunity in terms of game time.

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“That can hamper you in some ways because, sometimes, you want to give players 45 minutes or then give other players 60 minutes.

“It breaks up players gelling with each other but, in the last few games, we started to get an understanding.

“I think we’re well prepared. They understand the different formations we’re going to come up against.

“We’ve tried every formation and the players will understand they can jump from formation to formation, from game to game – and in games as well.”

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Adams has also outlined the thinking behind appointing separate club and matchday captains for the 2022/23 season.

Anthony O’Connor had worn the armband last season, having been given the role by Adams’ predecessor Stephen Robinson.

However, the Shrimps’ boss has named Connor Ripley as club captain with another new signing, Donald Love, taking on the role of matchday captain.

Adams said: “I don’t particularly like my goalkeeper to be captain but Connor is a very good character around the changing room.

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“We want him to be that voice and also have that role around the dressing room.

“Donald will be the captain on the pitch because I like to have my captain near enough so I can speak to them during the game and perhaps change a tactical situation.

“You can’t do that if your keeper is the captain but Donald is a vastly experienced player.”

Different managers may have their own views when it comes to the importance of captaincy.

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Having named O’Connor as skipper last season following Sam Lavelle’s departure, Robinson said he wanted a group of senior players to control the dressing room.

Others may, perhaps, go for the view that teams should have 11 skippers on the pitch instead.

“Some people would love that but it’s different in this day and age,” Adams said of the latter opinion.

“You tend to get a lot of followers, you don’t get a lot of people who want to lead – but we do have players who want to lead and that’s important.”