Morecambe boss believes there can be too much systems analysis

Stephen Robinson believes too much can be made of formations as he seeks an answer to Morecambe’s recent ills.

By Gavin Browne
Saturday, 20th November 2021, 8:00 am

International call-ups for Jokull Andresson, Alfie McCalmont and Greg Leigh meant last Saturday’s scheduled game against Wigan Athletic was called off.

Consequently, the Morecambe camp will have had a week-and-a-half to work on putting things right going into Saturday’s trip to Fleetwood Town.

After a promising start to their first League One season, things haven’t gone to plan for the Shrimps of late.

Morecambe utilised a different formation against Newport County AFC

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Last midweek’s Papa John’s Trophy defeat to Carlisle United was their seventh in nine games across all competitions.

They have taken one point from the last 18 in the league, leaving them out of the bottom four on goal difference.

Injuries to Jon Obika, Jonah Ayunga, Courtney Duffus and Shayon Harrison meant the Shrimps used a 4-3-3 system in the early part of the season with Cole Stockton usually flanked by Wes McDonald and Arthur Gnahoua.

Ayunga’s return towards the end of September has also enabled Robinson to play 3-5-2 on occasions, partnering the former Bristol Rovers man alongside Stockton.

Then, in the FA Cup win against Newport County AFC and the loss to Carlisle, they trialled another system.

Two midfielders sat in front of the back four with another pushed forward behind Stockton; a 4-2-1-3 line-up which could also double up as a 4-2-3-1 approach.

Morecambe’s woes of late have seen the spotlight shone on Robinson’s tactics but the manager remains of the view football is a simple sport that people like to make difficult.

He said: “Whoever plays and what system we use, our principles don’t change; we want to pass the ball, deliver balls in the box and press the opposition.

“People make a big thing out of systems but there’s only a five-yard change and we’re flexible in our approach.

Football is a simple game made complicated by us because, if you do the basics right, that doesn’t change.

“We have a style where we want to pass through midfield and create one against one opportunities in the final third.

“Earlier in the season, we only had Cole as a central option but we’ve got Jonah coming back as well as Shayon, Jon and Courtney, so we have options to go two up front.

“It doesn’t matter what system you play, whether it’s two up front or three up front, it’s only a five-yard difference between the centre-forwards.

“Systems and formations are more for people to chat about than anything else.”

Elsewhere, the club has confirmed they have been given 400 standing terrace tickets only for the FA Cup tie at Buxton on December 4.

They will be priced at £15 for adults and £10 for concessions with details of the sales process to be released at the start of next week.

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