Morecambe boss Derek Adams vows to support players after Christian Mbulu's death

Morecambe manager Derek AdamsMorecambe manager Derek Adams
Morecambe manager Derek Adams | freelance
Morecambe manager Derek Adams says the club’s family values have come to the fore following the death of defender Christian Mbulu.

The 23-year-old passed away on Tuesday, leading to tributes from the Shrimps, as well as former clubs including Millwall, Motherwell and Crewe Alexandra.

Adams had issued a statement of his own through the Shrimps’ official website on Wednesday, during which he spoke of ‘a friendly, pleasant, young man who we loved having around our football club.’

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Speaking on Thursday, the Morecambe boss revealed that he had since phoned every member of his first-team squad to check on their wellbeing.

He said: “It’s important you speak to the players individually, not just collectively.

“I’ve spent all of today speaking to all the players after hearing the tragic news of Christian’s death.

“I was really making sure that they knew myself and all the staff are there for the players and that we’ll help them through this difficult situation.

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“I’ve phoned 27 players today, just to speak to them, and I’d rather do that individually than collectively – it’s important you do that.

“We haven’t had face-to-face chats for a couple of months because of the coronavirus situation.

People can keep in touch through WhatsApp or phone calls but I want to make sure they are all coping as best they can and that we’re supporting them.”

Mbulu’s passing comes during a time when football clubs are consumed with trying to plot a way forward as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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However, Adams believes the loss of a young footballer should place everything else into perspective.

“We’ve had a tragic situation with a player at our football club who has lost his life,” he said.

“We, as a football club, are rallying to round support everyone associated with Christian.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time as they try to come to terms with their loss.”

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While Adams and his staff are there for any players in need of support, he also revealed the people to whom he can turn should he need to do so.

He said: “Rod (Taylor, co-chairman) and Mick (Horton, director) are always on the phone if I need them.

“Mick and myself speak every other day on the phone because we have to be in tune with what’s happening in the current situation.

“Given what’s happened with Christian, Rod – who has his own concerns with his care home and hotel businesses – is also having to deal with the football club at the same time.

“It’s important that we all talk, communicate with each other and just be there for each other.”