Morecambe manager rues the points that have got away at home

Morecambe boss Derek Adams believes his players could have had an even better return from their home matches this season.

By Gavin Browne
Monday, 14th December 2020, 8:00 am

Saturday’s 1-0 win against Harrogate Town was their fourth consecutive victory at the Mazuma Stadium, part of a six-game unbeaten run at home.

Since the heavy back-to-back defeats against Cambridge United and Newcastle United in September, Adams’ players have only lost one of their last nine matches in all competitions to a visiting team.

Adams said: “You look at the one we did lose against Forest Green, we were 1-0 up with 10 minutes to go.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Morecambe have enjoyed cause for celebration in the early stages of the season Picture: Getty Images

“We are very competitive at home but we feel we should have more wins at home than we do.

“I think we have started very well. If you look at where we were last season at this stage and where we are now, I think there’s been a vast improvement.

“That’s one thing we spoke about, trying to be better than we have been and punching above our weight.”

In that respect, it’s already been a successful start for Adams’ squad.

Saturday’s win took them to 25 points from their opening 17 matches, a world away from the same stage last year.

Adams took over as manager with 17 league games played last season and the Shrimps focusing solely on survival at that point.

He said: “Last season we were bottom of the league with 13 points (after 17 games).

“To be in 10th position at this moment in time means things have gone well for us.

“There’s a long way to go but to have 25 points is a very good points total.”

It isn’t just the team that is enjoying better fortunes this time around.

Saturday’s matchwinner, Aaron Wildig, netted his fifth of the season as the Shrimps’ midfield continues to chip in with vital goals.

The 28-year-old has been given licence to get forward by Adams and has responded in style.

Thirty-four appearances under Adams have yielded nine goals so far but there could have been more at the weekend.

Wildig spurned two first-half chances before converting Adam Phillips’ cross for the winner with the hour mark approaching.

Cole Stockton and Carlos Mendes-Gomes also had opportunities, the latter opting to try and score when he could have played in Wildig.

The matchwinner said: “If we’re being critical, we could have scored more – we had a lot of chances.

“Another goal is pleasing. I had a little moan at Carlos, he’s gone through and I’m screaming for an open goal tap-in but hopefully I can get a few more.”

Morecambe’s progress this season has been built around their ability to score goals from all across the pitch.

Phillips tops the scoring charts with seven goals, two ahead of Wildig, while Mendes-Gomes and centre-forward Cole Stockton both have four.

It was Phillips who set up Wildig’s goal with an excellent cross for the latter to head home from close range.

As Wildig admitted afterwards, it’s a tactical move which has paid off on more than one occasion this season.

“I said I’d make that run round to the back post,” he said.

“I got one at Southend with the same ball so that run between the full-back and centre-half seems to be working.

“I’m pleased to get the goal and the three points set us up for a big week.”

After a previous loan spell, Wildig is in his sixth full season as a Morecambe player.

In that time, he’s seen the club’s focus generally centred on attempting to escape the wrong end of the League Two table.

This time around, however, the Shrimps are in the top half a third of the way through the season with a gap of two points to the play-offs.

“Everyone is beating everyone,” he said.

“We have to stay in and around there and see where it takes us.

“We’ve seen a lot of the league and there isn’t much in it. We have to be positive and attack every game because we can do well in this league.”

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here