Morecambe manager wants his players to be braver on the pitch

Stephen Robinson believed his Morecambe players seemed to be frightened of having possession as they ended the year with defeat against Crewe Alexandra in midweek.

Friday, 31st December 2021, 12:30 pm

Despite leading at half-time through Greg Leigh’s first goal for the club, the Shrimps were beaten 2-1 by a Crewe side also in League One’s bottom four.

The loss was Morecambe’s ninth in their last 13 league matches, a run which has seen them drop into the bottom four after being 11th at the end of September.

Crewe’s comeback led to frustration off the pitch with a section of supporters booing at the final whistle, while others were audibly annoyed at Morecambe’s style of play.

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The passing football seen earlier in the season was largely replaced by long balls into the channels or attacking players squandering good positions with poor decision making.

Speaking on Thursday morning, Robinson said: “The first question I asked last night was ‘Who told you to hit the ball in the channels?’ That wasn’t anything we had worked on.

“We haven’t played out from the back as much as we did before but that’s because we caused ourselves problems doing that. That’s the only thing we’ve changed.

“We still want them to pass the ball. We have got very good players in the midfield who looked frightened and didn’t want the ball.

“Sometimes, with young players or people who haven’t played at this level, it can be a case of fear no matter how we try to tell them to express themselves.

“It looked like a lack of effort, which it wasn’t, but as a collective we have to be brave - and bravery means on the ball and off the ball.”

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