Morecambe's players are learning a lot going into Preston North End cup tie

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Morecambe boss Stephen Robinson says his side are learning all the time in their first season in League One.

The Shrimps suffered a second successive league loss when they went down 2-1 to Gillingham on Saturday.

That followed on from their 1-0 midweek defeat to Rotherham United but Robinson believes there are promising signs.

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Speaking ahead of tonight’s Carabao Cup tie against Preston North End, he said: “We are playing some good football and there are a lot of positives.

Morecambe are back on home soil tonight seven days after defeat to Rotherham UnitedMorecambe are back on home soil tonight seven days after defeat to Rotherham United
Morecambe are back on home soil tonight seven days after defeat to Rotherham United
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Morecambe boss looks forward to facing Preston North End in the Carabao Cup

“We are passing the ball around well and we have a style that I want to keep because I don’t think we are good at knocking it long.

“Those are the good things, but at the same time, we do need to sharpen up at both ends of the park which I am sure we will do.

“Cole Stockton has been tremendous but we can’t keep relying on him to get us the goals and it is important that we give him the support.

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“We have not been helped by the injuries to Jon Obika and Jonah Ayunga, which is why we brought in Courtney Duffus, and I am sure he will give us extra options.

“We are very much a work in progress and I can’t be critical of the lads because they have worked really hard and are a good bunch.”

One thing that has pleased the new manager is the support he has witnessed at the Mazuma Stadium.

Last week’s two home games saw more than 7,000 fans in attendance with big crowds expected tonight and for Saturday’s match against Sheffield Wednesday.

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He said: “The crowds have been superb and the atmosphere has been tremendous. We saw last season that football is just not the same without fans in the ground and I am so glad to see spectators back.

“Even when we lost to Rotherham, the crowd were behind us all the way and that was fantastic.”

However, if he was pleased with that, he was less than happy with two refereeing decisions at Gillingham.

Former Morecambe striker Vadaine Oliver won the game with a controversial penalty 12 minutes from time after the Shrimps were denied what looked a spot-kick of their own when Adam Phillips was brought down.

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Robinson said: “We’ve got beat by two set plays, both arguable decisions.

“If the referee can give the second penalty, and I can see why he’s given it, he has to give one for the foul on Adam Phillips too.

“Referees don’t have an easy job and I’m not one who comes out and criticises them very often, but if he’s given that one, he has to give the other one.”

“We dominated large parts of the game but what happens in both boxes decide whether you win or lose. We weren’t clinical enough and our delivery wasn’t good enough when we got in very good areas.”

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