Morecambe boss: League Two's outcome is too tough to call

Derek Adams won’t get sucked into predicting how he thinks the League Two promotion race will pan out.

By Gavin Browne
Friday, 2nd April 2021, 12:30 pm

Nine games remain in Morecambe’s promotion bid, starting with Good Friday’s trip to the new leaders, Cambridge United.

The Shrimps sit sixth in the table with 62 points, five points behind Cambridge but only one adrift of third-placed Tranmere Rovers.

Four years ago, Adams guided Plymouth Argyle to second place with 87 points, losing out on the title to Portsmouth via goal difference.

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Doncaster Rovers took the final spot with 85 points but, given the closely-fought nature of the division this season, a tally lower than that could well secure the championship.

Adams said: “You look at the fixtures that all the teams have left and you look at the results over the last few weeks, it’s an extremely difficult league to get wins.

“We’re delighted with the wins we have but you just can’t predict what’s going to happen.

“We’ve put ourselves in a fabulous position. I said to the players after the win at Harrogate that they were safe from relegation with 11 games to go and now we can just look to see where we go.”

Morecambe go into the Easter period knowing they come up against teams with a vastly different need for points.

While Cambridge look to remain at the summit, second-bottom Southend United visit the Mazuma Stadium on Tuesday looking for a win to boost their hopes of survival.

Having previously outlined a desire to set a club record points tally for the EFL, staff and players have outlined loftier ambitions in recent days.

Finishing in the top three has been spoken about, as well as a possible challenge for the title.

Set against that, however, is the desire to avoid looking too far ahead and just focusing on one game at a time.

“I think we just have to keep on going,” Adams said.

“It’s the old one but we have to take it the next game at a time, that’s all we do.

“We look forward to Friday, then Tuesday, but it’s a fantastic position to be in.

“It’s better to be in this position than fighting to stay in the league, that’s what the players are enjoying.”

Some of Adams’ squad know all too well what that experience feels like, especially the final day draw at Coventry City in 2018 which preserved the club’s EFL status.

With Barry Roche having retired and taken on the role as goalkeeping coach, Aaron Wildig, Sam Lavelle and Alex Kenyon are the only current players to have featured that afternoon.

While a promotion battle with Morecambe might be something new for all three, that experience means they are used to playing matches under pressure: albeit pressure of a different sort.

In contrast, a number of the club’s arrivals in the past 12 months know what it takes to win promotion from League Two and higher.

Adams has been pleased with the spirit shown among the playing staff at the Mazuma Stadium as they approach the business end of the campaign.

“They are a very good squad,” he said.

“They look after each other exceptionally well. We had six players out (against Cheltenham), so to change things about and still have a competitive squad is testament to the squad.

“They have been fantastic. We have come through the last month really well because we’ve had injuries and suspensions.

“So, to continue being where we are in the table, it just shows how well the players have knitted together.”

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