Morecambe boss hopes his players take the positives from FA Cup defeat at Chelsea

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Derek Adams wants his Morecambe players to take heart from their FA Cup loss against Chelsea going into the rest of the season.

The Shrimps’ first FA Cup third round tie for 18 years saw them beaten 4-0 at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

Having trailed by a goal with half-time approaching, the key passage of play was the five minutes or so either side of the break.

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The Shrimps conceded a second just before the interval with a third coming early in the second half to effectively end the contest.

Chelsea's strength in depth was reflected by Christian Pulisic only featuring against Morecambe as a substituteChelsea's strength in depth was reflected by Christian Pulisic only featuring against Morecambe as a substitute
Chelsea's strength in depth was reflected by Christian Pulisic only featuring against Morecambe as a substitute

One national media report described it as a game where Morecambe’s players were given a first-hand view of the difference between good and elite players.

When asked if it was a sentiment with which he agreed, Adams said: “Of course. When you’ve got players of £50m and £75m and you look at us with a budget of under £1m, it shows you the strength in depth.

“We were containing Chelsea very well and had limited them to very few opportunities early on.

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“We could have scored ourselves in the first few moments of the game, then they got the first goal.

“To lose the (second) goal just before half-time set us back and then they scored the third just after half-time, so that left us with even more of an uphill task.”

It was the second time that the Shrimps had faced Premier League opposition in a cup tie this season, following on from the 7-0 Carabao Cup defeat against Newcastle United.

That night saw them come up against a Newcastle team with a mix of regular Premier League starters and some fringe players.

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Much of the talk before the Chelsea game had centred around whether their boss, Frank Lampard, might use the game as a chance to see some of his fringe players and youngsters in action.

That theory was blown out of the water an hour before the game when the teamsheets appeared.

Instead of players wanting to stake a claim, the Chelsea team contained a number of household names whose transfer fees came to a total in the region of £280m.

Two of those signings, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, found the net as did the England duo of Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

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Chelsea’s bench was just as formidable with Christian Pulisic, Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud named as substitutes, along with Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and Ben Chilwell.

Morecambe had gone into the game after a fortnight between matches as a result of positive Covid-19 tests.

They could have been forgiven then for doing a double take when they saw the opposition team.

“It was a big surprise when I saw the line-ups,” Adams said.

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“It was a big surprise to see the squad they went with, not only the starting XI but the substitutes as well.

“It was a very good performance from us though, from the point of view that we were playing against a top-class side.

“I thought that the players acquitted themselves well under difficult circumstances.”

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