Morecambe boss plays catch-up ahead of their first League One season

Stephen Robinson admits there is an element of catch-up involved as Morecambe prepare for life in League One.

By Gavin Browne
Thursday, 10th June 2021, 4:45 pm

The Shrimps’ season only ended at the start of last week, when they won promotion into the third tier via the play-off final.

Every club, bar those in the play-offs, had a three-week head start given they knew what division they would be in for 2021/22 and could plan accordingly.

Morecambe’s planning also had another bump in the road, given they also saw Derek Adams depart the manager’s position for the vacant role at Bradford City.

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Morecambe's new manager Stephen Robinson

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Robinson said: “We are a few weeks behind everyone else with the play-offs and the manager leaving, so it’s a bit of catch-up.

“I’ve introduced myself and spoken in depth to the current staff and asked their opinion.

“It’s a case of getting stuck in right away, getting contracts with players and starting the recruitment process.”

The Shrimps ended the season with a host of players out of contract and Robinson now has to decide which of those he thinks can adapt to League One

Two gaps already have to be filled with Yann Songo’o having announced his departure via social media on Thursday morning, followed by that of Alex Kenyon.

While he may not have managed in the third tier since a six-month spell at Oldham Athletic which ended in early 2017, Robinson maintains his time in charge of Motherwell means he has a good knowledge of the level.

He said: “I think there’s no doubt we need to build on the squad but there’s a good bunch of players.

“There are some players who will continue in League One and there are some who won’t be able to make the step up in my opinion and the staff’s opinion.

“We need to strengthen as every club does. At Motherwell, this is the level we were recruiting at.

“I’m well aware of what's available but we are certainly catching up as quickly as we can and trying to get bodies in the building.”

In a way, Robinson is potentially in a no-lose situation with Morecambe heading into the new season.

Having been tipped for the drop from League Two on an annual basis, it isn’t a surprise to see they are outsiders again this time around.

If they were to go back into League Two then it wouldn’t be a shock to the tipsters.

Stay in League One, however, especially coming up against clubs including Sunderland, Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth, and Robinson will be congratulated for defying the odds.

When asked what his target was, Robinson said: “I think, first and foremost, to be able to keep the place in League One.

“Last year, they defied the odds and, at Motherwell, they were second bottom and we got to two cup finals.

“When you’re putting people together with a work ethic and organisation, anything can be achieved.

“We have aims for you guys (the media) and the public but, in the dressing room, we will have higher aspirations than surviving by the skin of our teeth.”

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