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O’Connor says Shrimps must believe they’re not a bad side

23 February 2022

Captain Anthony O’Connor says Morecambe’s performance against Rotherham United on Tuesday night proved the quality within the squad.

Freddie Ladapo opened the scoring with an impressive strike from the edge of the box after four minutes before adding his, and Rotherham’s, second on the half-hour mark.

The second 45 saw the Shrimps carve out chance after chance, only to be denied by goalkeeper Josh Vickers who was in fine form, and the skipper says the squad must believe in their own quality.

“It’s not going to come much harder than Rotherham away,” he said.

“If that’s the hardest game that we’re going to come up against, we’re not a bad side, we’ve just got to believe in it.

“All the chances we had and the goalkeeper has had the game of his life, probably the best game he’s played this season, because he’s pulled off about four or five worldies.

“[Ryan] Cooney hits the post, it just sums up the luck at the minute, on the opposite hand, Jon Obika hits it as clean as possible and the keeper saves it.

“Teams are coming at the end of the game saying ‘you’re one of the best teams we’ve played this season’ and we’ve not taken anything from the game, but it’s coming, it’s coming, I’ve no doubt about it.”

Goalkeeper coach Barry Roche stepped into the dugout as Caretaker Manager on Tuesday night, and O’Connor says the team showed the former shot stopper the respect he deserves.

He continued: “I thought the lads conducted themselves brilliantly, we showed Baz the respect he deserves.

“It’s not easy, especially because he’s a goalkeeping coach, but he’s been around the game long enough, he’s Morecambe thick and thin.

“The lads gave him everything, and left everything on the pitch.

“Baz, fair play to him, stepped up, him and Wainy [were] brilliant, we’ve just got to go again.”  

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