Morecambe boss feels there's nothing to prove after his last League One stint

Stephen Robinson insists he doesn’t have any unfinished business with League One in aiming to help Morecambe defy the pundits’ predictions.

By Gavin Browne
Thursday, 9th September 2021, 8:00 am

The Shrimps were installed as the odds-on favourite for relegation in the immediate aftermath of winning promotion through the Wembley play-off final last season.

The appointment was considered a smart decision by some after he had guided former club Motherwell to two cup finals and European football.

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Morecambe boss Stephen Robinson is relishing coming up against clubs with the profile of Sheffield Wednesday

That success north of the border came after an ill-fated spell in charge at Oldham Athletic during the 2016/17 season.

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Having left his role as Northern Ireland assistant boss in the summer of 2016, Robinson’s first managerial position ended in the sack the following January with the Latics bottom of League One.

However, as Robinson outlined, there was an element of him being up against it from day one at Boundary Park.

“Oldham was a disaster for me,” he admitted.

“It was the wrong job, and I make no bones about that, but I had to sign 23 players in two weeks.

“There was no pre-season, we were getting in players who weren’t fit, and it was impossible to be successful.

“However, Oldham as a club was very good and they had a brilliant fanbase.

“I probably learned more in those six months than I did at all other times but you live and learn.

“I’m not proving people wrong in that respect, I’m focusing on what I did at Motherwell when we got to two cup finals and sold £10m worth of players.”

There are similarities between the Shrimps and Motherwell beyond pundits tipping them to struggle every year.

They are up against clubs with far bigger profiles and budgets, meaning they can develop a siege mentality and use it to their advantage.

Of Morecambe’s seven points so far this season, four have come against sides in Ipswich Town and Sheffield Wednesday who are fancied to be among the promotion chasers.

The Wednesday win was especially notable given that, 30 years ago, the Owls were defending League Cup champions and about to finish third in the old First Division.

Morecambe also had a third-placed finish that season but, in their case, that was in the Northern Premier League.

“The amount of money and the size of some football clubs we’re up against is brilliant,” Robinson said.

“I love it, it’s what we’re in the game for. Morecambe aren’t supposed to win any games this season, we aren’t meant to play good football.

“It’s lovely to prove people wrong and, by proving people wrong in that respect, I mean those people who thought Morecambe, and Motherwell before that, should go down.”

If Robinson was to emulate what he did at Motherwell in terms of cup finals and generating millions in transfer fees with the Shrimps, then he would have more than achieved his remit at the Mazuma Stadium.

On the pitch, they have started the season well and earned praise for their attacking approach to matches.

Off it, money has also come in over the summer with six-figure fees for Carlos Mendes Gomes and Sam Lavelle.

However, as Robinson was at pains to point out, his predecessors deserve the credit for their development and performances.

He said: “In terms of cup finals, it’s a bit more difficult to get to them with Morecambe, unfortunately!

“I can’t take credit for Carlos and Sam but that’s about a million pounds worth of players already - but there are other people who played a far bigger part in Sam and Carlos’ development than I did.”

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