Shrimps boss Derek Adams sits down for his first interview as Morecambe manager since arriving back at the Mazuma Stadium.
Derek, welcome back to the Club, you must be delighted to be back at the Mazuma Stadium.
“Yeah, [I’m] obviously delighted. I think last season was a magnificent achievement for the football club and, this year, we’re now in League One and trying to regain our status in League One. We’re in the relegation places at this moment in time, and we want to get out of that and my job, between now and the end of the season along with the players, the staff, is to get enough points to stay in League One.”
It's been a bit of a quick turnaround, Stephen Robinson left the building on Tuesday and you’re here now on the Thursday, just talk us through those couple of days.
“I got a phone call late on Tuesday night from the chairman, I spoke to him and when I got the call, it was something that I wanted to do. I left on a high the first time round and we had a great day at Wembley and obviously a great season, and now, coming back here in League One, we’ve got another mission to accomplish.”
Did you have any reservations about taking the job because you are coming back to a team that’s sitting in the relegation zone?
“No, I think I’ve been and done that before when I was in Scotland, I went back to a Club and we had really good success there. It’s to try and implement the same here, try and get enough points between now and the end of the season to get us there. The players in the squad, we’ve got really good characters in the squad, I know a number of the players that will have been here from last season which is great, they’ll help me and I’ll help the ones that haven’t been here before as well.”
Do you think it helps that you have got experience of keeping teams in divisions, obviously you did it here with Morecambe first of all, you’ve done it with Plymouth as such as well, does that help you with your quest to make sure this team stays in League One?
“It’s about winning football matches at this moment in time, and I’ve seen the game the other night against Rotherham, it was a really good performance, we just have to tighten up in a number of things in the game, but we’ve certainly got players here that are capable of scoring goals. We all know that Cole Stockton has scored goals this season, we’ve got other players in the squad that I feel can contribute to the goals between now and the end of the season.”
Did it help with the relationship you talked about with the board of directors, the two co-chairmen as well, was it just a seamless transition from you finishing your job at Bradford and coming back here?
“Yeah, I’ve got a really good relationship with the co-chairmen, the owners as well as the other board members. I obviously know the staff that are already here and some of the players, so that really helps. I know the environment as well, I know the stadium, the training facilities and that will help me get going really quickly, and that’s what we have to do.”
13 really important Sky Bet League One games now to come, how much are you looking forward to those?
“[I’m] looking forward to it. We’ve got Ipswich on Saturday which is the first game, it’s a game that we’re going to have to go out and win to give us that opportunity of catching the teams above us, we know that. Over the years, even last season, we had a really good home record and this season we’ve got the supporters back in the stadium. We’ve all seen how much that can affect this football club, we’ve seen the uptake in season tickets, we’ve seen the atmosphere that’s been here and really looking forward to having them here and seeing them on Saturday.”
You would have been keeping in touch with some of the results that have gone this season and how Morecambe have played, how much have you been surprised at where the team has been, mainly on the basis of what other clubs have said, saying they’re surprised that Morecambe find themselves in the position they do now?
“You would’ve hoped to have been in a better position than we are now, we’ve got three wins in the last 23 games, so that has to improve because we have to pick up wins now to get ourselves enough points to stay in the division. I think we’ve certainly changed, in January, some players around and taken in some quality to add it to the players that are already here.”
How much are you looking forward to getting back to the Mazuma on Saturday, it’ll be the first time you’ve been back here in front of fans in a bigger capacity than usual with the Tranmere game as a reduced crowd and at Wembley when you picked up the Play-Off Final trophy?
“It was a great atmosphere at the Tranmere games, but as you say, there’ll be more in here on Saturday, we’ve got Ipswich Town coming to Morecambe which is fantastic. We just hope and we’ve got to try and play on the front foot and really get up and against them, and obviously get the three points.”