Morecambe boss: Chelsea's recent results make FA Cup tie even harder

Derek Adams admits the pressure on Chelsea boss Frank Lampard will only serve to intensify the challenge facing Morecambe in Sunday’s FA Cup clash at Stamford Bridge.

By Gavin Browne
Friday, 8th January 2021, 4:45 pm

The Shrimps returned to training on Tuesday after positive Covid-19 tests, which saw the matches against Bolton Wanderers and Bradford City called off.

Tests took place yesterday with the results due to be known today ahead of the trip south for Morecambe’s first round three clash since 2003.

Chelsea go into the game having only won one of their last seven matches in all competitions and with some reports speculating that Lampard is under pressure.

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Derek Adams has previously taken Plymouth Argyle to Liverpool in the FA Cup Picture: Getty Images

“I think Chelsea’s form makes it more difficult for us, there’s no doubt about that,” the Morecambe manager told the Press Association.

“There’s obviously pressure on Chelsea to get through to the next round, we know that, and they were FA Cup finalists last season.

“So we know that the game for us is going to be difficult but I think it will be harder than it probably could have been, because if they were winning games then it might have been a wee bit easier for us.”

Morecambe go into the game having been out of action since the defeat of Grimsby Town on Boxing Day.

Results elsewhere have left them seventh in League Two approaching the midway point of the season and Adams insists his side will head to Stamford Bridge determined to showcase their talents.

“I don’t think it’s going to be any different without the fans overall,” he said.

“Chelsea have been used to playing with no fans, but the quality of opposition doesn’t change.

“I think the players actually have to be more concentrated without the fans - because of the lack of atmosphere, they have to just switch on very quickly.

“Going into this game we know that Chelsea will start at a pace, because they are at home and they want to progress to the next round.

“So we have to analyse that very quickly in the game, that they are going to come out of the blocks as quickly as possible.

“I think going into the game against Chelsea’s obviously going to be difficult because of the outfit they are but what we can do is go and give it a good shot.”

However, as Adams alluded to, the downside to Morecambe’s trip will be the absence of supporters.

A generation of Morecambe fans have grown up, waiting to see their players reach round three and when they do, the pandemic has prevented them from travelling to one of English football’s leading lights.

It also means the club misses out on a potential six-figure payday in terms of gate receipts, though there will be broadcast fees from the match being shown across the BBC’s digital platforms.

They will pick up a live broadcast fee of £37,500, while the match also carries prize money of £61,500 to the winners and £20,500 to the losing team.

Morecambe have already made £112,472 in prize money from the FA Cup so far after beating Maldon and Tiptree in round one, followed by victory against Solihull Moors last time out.

That figure is made up of £70,000 from being two multi-camera broadcast matches and £42,472 in prize money.

“To get into the FA Cup third round for the first time in 18 years is very good for the football club,” Adams said.

“We’re all disappointed that supporters can’t be there, because I’m sure there would have been thousands travelling down for the game but it’s live on the television, which is obviously very useful as well.

“We’ll not benefit as much as we would have done if supporters were there.

“We’ve done quite well out of television revenue in the previous rounds, and we’ll do well out of this one as well.

“Any money that you haven’t budgeted for is welcome, and at this football club anything that comes in, they’re delighted.”

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