Stag-do must be a good one says Peter

Peter Murphy (right) battle Fleetwood Town's Bobby Grant

Peter Murphy (right) battle Fleetwood Town's Bobby Grant

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Captain Peter Murphy knows Morecambe owe their fans a performance against Mansfield on Boxing Day.

The Shrimps host the Stags having won just one of their last seven in League Two, a run that has seen them slip to 17th in the table.

The 2-1 defeat on Saturday to a York side that had lost their previous nine was particularly disappointing, with Murphy demanding a response against a Mansfield side who will be travelling up to the resort on Christmas Day.

The midfielder said: “It’s important but it’s also a good time for the players.

“You’ve got games coming thick and fast and there’s nothing better than that.

“We’ve got a good home game coming and hopefully we’ll get a good crowd on. We owe our own fans a performance.

“Every game’s a battle and we’ve just got to be up for it and then when we get our chance to play go and hurt them.”

Despite their patchy form the Shrimps are still closer to the play-offs, nine points, than the bottom two, 14 points, with a game at Notts County to follow quickly after the Mansfield clash on December 28.

Murphy knows that as the season approaches halfway Morecambe need to make their move towards the sharp end of the table sooner rather than later.

The skipper, who will lead the side out against the Stags for the first Saturday home league game in nine weeks, said: “We’ve got confidence in ourselves.

“We want to be higher up the table and it’s only up to us to put us where we should be.

“There are still loads of games left but we’ve got to start soon.

“I don’t think we can look too far ahead though we’ve got to be fully focused on Boxing Day and Mansfield at home.

“Hopefully there will be a good crowd on and we need to put in a performance and get a result.”

Improvement is needed after the defeat at York but Murphy insists the Shrimps will not be too downbeat after coming close to a late leveller.

He said: “It wasn’t through the lack of trying.

“We had the chances it just wasn’t quite falling for us.

“When it did fall, the lad’s managed to clear off the line from Aaron Wildig twice and when Ryan Edwards got in with the header I thought that was it but it wasn’t meant to be.

“We can’t get too downhearted.

“We know we haven’t played well ourselves and we’ll work on trying to be better this week.”

On a personal note, Murphy feels he is improving game-by-game, having seen a pulmonary embolism delay his return after damaging medial knee ligaments just eight minutes into his Morecambe debut at Hartlepool on the opening day of the season.

He said: “I’m just glad to be getting some minutes under my belt.

“I just can’t wait to be fully up to speed.”