Morecambe midfielder has been passing on his experience to younger team-mates

Toumani Diagouraga has earned his manager’s praise for the work he’s doing off the pitch at Morecambe.

By Gavin Browne
Thursday, 25th November 2021, 4:45 pm

The veteran midfielder has become a fans’ favourite since joining the Shrimps in January 2020, proving one of the driving forces behind last season’s promotion.

He’d also appeared in 20 of the club’s 22 matches this time around, heading into last weekend’s trip to Fleetwood Town.

However, the 34-year-old was named on the bench before appearing for the last 14 minutes, triggering the thought he’d been rested ahead of Charlton Athletic’s visit in midweek.

Morecambe midfielder Toumani Diagouraga

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That wasn’t the case as Shrimps’ boss Stephen Robinson kept faith with Alfie McCalmont, Callum Jones and Shane McLoughlin.

Diagouraga was left on the bench as another midfielder, Adam Phillips, got the call to go on with 20 minutes remaining.

Rather than kick up a fuss about it, Robinson revealed Diagouraga has been dispensing advice instead.

Josh McPake's season has been affected by injuries

He said: “Take the Carlisle game (Papa John’s Trophy defeat) out of it and the midfield three have been terrific of late, both in terms of the press and the protection they give the back four.

“At the same time, Toums is a great influence around the building.

“When he’s not playing, he’s speaking to the young players and they can learn a great deal from him.

“That shouldn’t be underestimated. All we hear these days are stories about people throwing their toys out of the pram when they don’t play, but Toums has been a great influence for us.”

One player, however, who could be forgiven for feeling frustrated with his season so far is Josh McPake.

Given his performances for Harrogate Town in League Two last season, hopes were high when the winger arrived over the summer on a season-long loan from Rangers.

However, injuries have made it a stop-start campaign with only seven appearances; the last of which came off the bench against Accrington Stanley in September.

The hope is the 20-year-old should be back in contention after an ankle injury to face MK Dons on Saturday.

“Josh will be available on Saturday,” Robinson confirmed.

“Again, he and Aaron Wildig are two players who have had no luck whatsoever with injuries this season.

“Both of them have been down to start games and then got ankle injuries.

“Sometimes, you run out of luck when it comes to injuries and we’re hoping, certainly in Josh’s case, that his injuries will come in threes and that he has no further problems from now on.”

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