Newport County are Tuesday night’s visitors as we continue our Sky Bet League Two campaign.
After five successive away fixtures, the Shrimps return home to the Mazuma Mobile Stadium to face a second Welsh side in as many games.
Morecambe will be looking to bounce back from the weekend, where a trip to promotion contenders Wrexham resulted in a 6-0 defeat.
Following Monday’s announcement, Tuesday night’s game will be the first fixture for new First Team Manager Ged Brannan. The 51-year old has signed an 18-month contract at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium, having worked as the First Team Coach since September.
In their previous game, Newport faced league leaders Stockport County, finishing on the winning side of the 2-1 scoreline, and ending the leaders’ 12-game record-equalling winning streak in the process.
The Shrimps have come out on top during the last two meetings between the two sides. The most recent of these visits came in November 2021, where a 1-0 victory took Morecambe through to the second round of the FA Cup. However, Shrimps’ fans may better remember the previous meeting of the sides in the May of 2021, where an extra-time winner from Carlos Mendes Gomes saw Morecambe win the Sky Bet League Two play off final, and gain promotion to League One.
Following their victory at Stockport on Saturday, Newport County find themselves in 16th position in the Sky Bet League Two table. Six wins, four draws, and nine losses mean the Exiles sit on 22 points, five below the Shrimps.
Saturday’s victory was an important one for Graham Coughlan’s men, who found themselves in 20th position before the weekend, and they will be looking to continue to distance themselves from the drop zone.
49-year-old Coughlan has been in charge at Rodney Parade since the October of 2022, and guided the South Wales side to a 15th place finish in Sky Bet League Two last season.
They will need to tighten up their defence if they hope to improve their chances this season; their 35 goals conceded being the third highest in the division.
Forward Will Evans will undoubtably prove an important part of the Exiles campaign, the 26-year-old already netting 12 goals in all competitions this season. The number 7 has featured in all 19 outings for the side in League Two so far this season.
Joining Evans in attack is experienced striker Omar Bogle, who has scored six times in his 15 league appearances this season. The 6ft 3 centre-forward was Newport’s top scorer in their 22-23 campaign, with 19 goals in all competitions.
Shrimps fans will recognise several players from the Newport County squad-list on Tuesday evening. Defender Ryan Delaney, who featured for Morecambe during their two seasons in League One, has become a regular at Rodney Parade in the centre of defence.
Shane McLoughlin has also become an important part of Coughlan’s squad, the Irishman scoring four times so far this season, including the winner on Saturday.
Midfielder Aaron Wildig, who played just short of 250 games for the Shrimps, has made 18 appearances so far this season for Newport, although it is possible an injury may keep him off the pitch at the Mazuma Mobile Stadium.
The Man in the Middle
Ross Joyce will take charge of the match, in his 17th fixture of the season. The official is no stranger to giving out bookings, with over 70 cards dished out in his previous 16 games.
It will be the second time Shrimps fans have seen Joyce this season, the last being at August’s visit to Harrogate Town, where the home side came out on top in a 2-0 victory.
Joyce will be flanked by Matthew Sowerby and Steven Rushton, with the help of fourth official John Mulligan.
Ged Brannan’s Pre-Match Thoughts
Ahead of our return home, new First Team Manager Ged Brannan spoke on the challenge ahead.
“We’re going to go into the game as a home team tomorrow, and play the way we want to play,” he said.
“Our best way of winning a game - with the team we’ve got now - is attacking the other team, getting at them, closing down, playing at a high tempo.
“We want to put things right tomorrow.
“I just want to win, I want the fans to be happy, I want the club to be going forward, and that’s all I care about.”
Stuart Moore and Donald Love will both miss out due to their respective injuries.
Supporters not making the journey to the Mazuma Mobile Stadium on Tuesday night can watch from home with an iFollow Shrimps video match pass.
Dave Salmon will be joined by goalkeeper Stu Moore for expert analysis.
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