Morecambe manager relishes opening day match at Ipswich Town

Stephen Robinson insists his Morecambe players won’t turn up to be rolled over when they travel to Ipswich Town tomorrow.

The Shrimps head to Portman Road for their first game as a League One club, having won promotion through the play-offs last season.

They could not have asked for a much harder start, coming up against an Ipswich side considered one of the favourites for promotion.

“I’m very excited about it,” Robinson said.

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“It’s a very tough first game, we couldn’t pick a harder or more exciting game.

“The expectation around Ipswich will be a lot higher than ourselves but we’ve trained well and we’ve got good standards.

“That’s very important, we certainly don’t want to go and make up the numbers.

“We know what type of football club Ipswich is. They have got plenty of areas where they are a threat.

“They are a good side that passes through the lines and they have threats up front and in the wide areas.

“They have spent a bit of money and we will treat them with the respect they deserve.

“They have signed some very good players but we have got some good players as well and it makes for an exciting game.”

While Ipswich are tipped to be in and around the top two, a season of struggle is the pundits’ forecast for Morecambe.

Annual relegation favourites in League Two, it is unsurprising they have been tipped for the bottom four this year considering some of the clubs they face.

Ipswich are one of seven former Premier League sides in the third tier, while Lincoln City and Oxford United have play-off disappointment to try and overcome.

Another former top-flight club, Sheffield Wednesday, join Rotherham United and Wycombe Wanderers in seeking an immediate return to the Championship.

It is a situation Robinson knows all too well, given his experiences at Motherwell.

They were tipped to struggle in the Scottish top flight but, during Robinson’s tenure, reached both domestic cup finals in the same season and qualified for Europe with a third-placed league finish.

That meant taking his less-fancied players to grounds including Parkhead, Ibrox and Hampden Park to face clubs with bigger reputations and wallets.

He said: “We told the players they had nothing to lose and that, if they believe in each other, they can cause surprises.

“Budgets don’t decide anything in a one-off game and we believe we have a competitive squad.

“Our main aim is to retain League One status and, the earlier we can do that, the better.

“We can start looking up the table and I believe we have a good group of players who will achieve that.”

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