Morecambe manager is searching for a consistent starting XI

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Stephen Robinson believes the lack of a settled line-up has been one of the contributing factors behind Morecambe’s poor run of results.

Tuesday’s Papa John’s Trophy group stage defeat to Carlisle United was the Shrimps’ seventh from their last nine outings in all competitions.

Robinson’s players have paid the price for defensive errors and a lack of cutting edge in attack despite Cole Stockton’s 13 goals this season.

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However, they now have to wait 10 days for a chance to bounce back with international call-ups for Jokull Andresson, Greg Leigh and Alfie McCalmont causing the postponement of Saturday’s scheduled game against Wigan Athletic.

Liam Gibson was one of five changes for Morecambe on Tuesday nightLiam Gibson was one of five changes for Morecambe on Tuesday night
Liam Gibson was one of five changes for Morecambe on Tuesday night
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Morecambe players are warned after Papa John's Trophy loss to Carlisle United

Their absences, as well as Adam Phillips dropping to the bench and Ryan McLaughlin given the night off, meant Morecambe made five changes in all from the FA Cup win against Newport County AFC.

Robinson said: “We can’t get a settled side, we can’t get a settled back four and goalkeeper at the moment.

“It’s difficult when you’re playing different people every week due to injuries or loss of form, so first and foremost, we have to try and get something settled.

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“That’s difficult when people are finding it hard to get a run of form and consecutive games, never mind two or three games.

“Two games of a consistent run of form would be good but we’re not getting that at this moment in time.”

Despite making five changes on Tuesday night, the Morecambe line-up looked a strong one.

Stockton, Jonah Ayunga and Arthur Gnahoua made up their front three, Aaron Wildig and Toumani Diagouraga returned in midfield, while Liam Gibson and Ryan Cooney were given opportunities in the full-back positions.

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“I’ve made lots of changes in this competition to give people game time,” Robinson said.

“If we set out to win it, we probably wouldn’t have made nine changes in the previous two games.

“What we wanted to do was get people fit again and I’ll try and take some sort of positives out of that.

“Jonah Ayunga, it’s one of his best games since he’s come back to fitness, Aaron Wildig gets 65, 70 minutes, so they’re the positives in there.

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“There’s the same frailties we know but we had a strong front three with our two centre-halves (Anthony O’Connor and Scott Wootton) that played on Saturday; albeit we changed both full-backs.

“We just can’t get a consistent run of games and teams. Consistent teams will lead to consistent results but, unfortunately, things are going against us at the moment.”

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