Results may not have swung in the direction that Morecambe manager Stephen Robinson was expecting through the first half of the 2021/22 season, but his style and philosophy are being implemented into the Shrimps system – with his team just two points from safety with the possibility of securing a second successive year in Sky Bet League One well within their grasp.
Robinson had plenty of experience as a Northern Ireland international on the playing field, as well as making well over 250 appearances in his career for AFC Bournemouth (scoring more than 52 goals during that span). Adding to his list of stints playing with Tottenham Hotspur, Preston North End and Luton Town, as well as loan spells at Leyton Orient and Bristol City, Robinson has the football knowledge to try and keep the Shrimps in League One for another season.
Prior to his arrival at Morecambe, Robinson spent four seasons at Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership, helping guide the club to the Scottish League Cup final after defeating perennial power Rangers, though eventually losing to Celtic in the final.
Manager Stephen Robinson…
On the importance of the Doncaster Rovers game on the horizon:
“I think every game is huge. [The Crewe Alexandra] game as huge. You’re not going to stay up based on wining this game or losing this game. The Crewe [Alexandra] game was a blow to us. But the Doncaster [Rovers] game is as big as the [Crewe Alexandra] game, and we simply have to perform better. We have to have more people stand up and be counted.
“We’ve tried to knock the pass backwards as many times in our final third, but no one’s ever told them to slice balls 60 yards up the pitch with no curve or no quality. But sometimes that’s an easier option when you’re playing with no confidence. People go missing and hiding from the game. We need brave people at this moment in time.”
On the health of Cole Stockton and others after the Crewe Alexandra game:
“Cole was injured [versus Crewe Alexandra]. He hasn’t got COVID. Hopefully, he will be available again on Sunday.
“We’ve had a couple of other boys out with COVID. And Adam Phillips looks like he could be out with an injury now as well. We’re losing people around tonsillitis. I was in the hospital with tonsillitis; it was quite bad. Things aren’t going our way at this moment in time in terms of getting any kind of consistency with selections or injuries, but saying that, the players on the pitch have to be better.”
On his team’s defensive issues of late:
“It’s probably been the story of our season. Individual errors. Different people each week that are struggling at this level, to cope with the quality at this level.
“The truth be told, it’s been a different person every week making individual mistakes.”
On assessing himself and the team:
“I have to look at myself as well [and the players have to look at themselves]. Everybody has to look at themselves. That’s the industry we’re in. The fans voice their opinion at the end of the games. I fully accept that.”
Post-match comments after his team’s last loss to Crewe Alexandra:
“I’m extremely disappointed. We got ourselves back into the game, and went up [1-0]. We don’t defend the free header into the box from four or five yards out. We don’t land on the second ball for the second goal. We deserve to lose if we defend like that. We went to a back five; trying to put more bodies in there. But we didn’t pass the ball.”