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Gaffer hoping to flourish in Papa John’s Trophy

13 September 2021

Shrimps’ manager Stephen Robinson says his side will take the Papa John’s Trophy very seriously, starting with the visit of Everton U21s on Tuesday night.

As a player, Robinson came runners up in the Final of the EFL trophy in 1997/98 with Bournemouth, losing out to Grimsby Town at Wembley Stadium.

The Morecambe boss will undoubtedly want to go one better as a manager, starting with the opening game of the competition against the Toffees.

“It’s a game we’re taking very serious,” Robinson said.

“It’s a chance, I got to the Final of it as a player and it’s a great occasion, these early rounds are the ones mentally you need to be strong in and we intend to do that.

“I think we’ve actually watched more games with Everton than we have with any other opposition we’re playing because it’s local to us, so we’ve watched two games live, we’ve had all their U21 footage so we’re well-versed in.

“It’s a talented academy [Everton], when I was at Motherwell, they were an academy I always looked at because I believe that their players are taught very well.

“They learn real football as opposed to some of the false football we see in academies, they’ve a real strong mentality, that’s credit to the staff there including David [Unsworth] and obviously with his experience, the younger players are benefitting from that.”

Since joining Morecambe in June, Robinson has recruited 19 players, emphasising the strength in depth at the club, meaning that even with the possibility of changes, Shrimps fans can expect a strong line-up on Tuesday night.

He continued: “It will be a strong team we put out and there’ll be some boys who have craved game time and maybe been very disappointed not to play, that’s their opportunity.

“There’s places to play for, I think I’ve got a group of 20 all outfield players, and including the goalkeepers, there’s nothing between them.

“It’s a toss of a coin on occasions, some have good runs of games, some don’t, so they’re playing for places, this is an opportunity to go and get a place in the team for Saturday as well.”


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