Morecambe players' efforts earn manager's praise

Derek Adams paid tribute to Morecambe’s class of 2021/22 for securing League One survival.

By Gavin Browne
Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 8:00 am

Twelve months ago to the day, the Shrimps gained promotion via Wembley play-off final victory over Newport County AFC.

Adams departed for Bradford City, replaced by Stephen Robinson, with Morecambe written off as relegation certainties before a ball was kicked.

They had started well, sitting 11th in the table at the end of September after 10 matches.

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From there, however, their results rapidly deteriorated with six points from the next 39 seeing them fourth-bottom by the end of 2021.

Robinson departed in February ahead of the trip to Rotherham United, where defeat that night left them third-bottom.

Adams’ return, alongside assistant John McMahon, yielded 12 points from the final 13 matches, proving enough to see the Shrimps finish 19th.

“It was huge for the club, financially as well as getting a second season in League One,” the manager reflected.

“We were in a desperate position when John and myself came back: two points adrift, 13 games to go, eight of the top 11 teams to play and none of the bottom five.

“To be fair to the players, they have been able to turn it around and the points required to stay up.

“It wasn’t easy but we changed a few things around in the squad and got the response needed.”

Those changes can best be summarised when comparing the teams which started Adams’ first game back and the one that played on the final day two months later.

Only six of the side which started the draw against Ipswich Town on February 26 began the defeat to Sunderland at the end of April.

“We changed personnel and system,” Adams explained.

“We just felt that we probably didn’t have the personnel available for the way we wanted to play.

“We had to wait for some of the injured players to come back and we took some out of the team to enable us to get to the situation where we could pick up wins.

“We did that against Oxford and Burton at home, as well as a terrific win at Charlton – and we were probably unfortunate not to win the game we drew against Ipswich and Bolton.”