Morecambe's players and fans can be encouraged by their start to life in League One

First-team coach Diarmuid O’Carroll believes Morecambe’s players can be pleased by their start to the season, albeit without going overboard.

Saturday, 21st August 2021, 8:00 am

The Shrimps head to Gillingham this afternoon, looking for a second victory in their first four matches as a League One club.

The first came seven days ago as they saw off Shrewsbury Town after coming within seconds of winning at Ipswich Town on the first day.

Promotion hopefuls Rotherham United proved too strong in midweek, leaving Stephen Robinson’s players 11th in the early table.

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The early stage of the season is best summed up by Ipswich and Charlton Athletic, both of whom are promotion contenders, being in the bottom six at present.

Nevertheless, with Morecambe having been written off as relegation certainties by the majority of pundits before a ball was kicked, O’Carroll is satisfied by their opening fortnight.

He said: “We’ve got to be delighted with what we’ve done so far.

“I think everyone, apart from us, had quite low expectations.

“We were a bit disappointed the other night, playing against one of the top teams and feeling we deserved a point.

“However, we’re happy with what we’ve done but, being realistic, it’s early days.

“It’s such a long season, especially when you remember we have 25 league games before January 1.

“There’s no doubt we will have tough runs and maybe go a couple of games without winning.

“The good thing is we have a tight-knit squad of young boys with a bit of experience mixed in, so if we have little disappointments, we go again.”

Morecambe go into this afternoon’s game looking to bounce back from that midweek defeat to Rotherham.

More than 4,000 fans at the Mazuma Stadium saw the visitors depart with three points as they seek an immediate return to the Championship.

While there may be some disappointment at losing, that is tempered by the knowledge the Shrimps acquitted themselves well against a side playing two divisions above them only four months ago.

“No doubt about it, they were the best side we’ve played,” O’Carroll said.

“As soon as they lost the ball, they were intense in terms of their pressing.

“They used the wind well and went direct at times but we rose to the challenge, even if we probably didn’t have enough chances on goal.

“You’re always going to be picky though and say you can be 10 or 15 per cent better, but I think it allowed the fans and club to think we deserve to be in League One - and that we have players capable of playing at this level.”

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