Morecambe’s historic first ever season in Sky Bet League One will be spearheaded by their new manager Stephen Robinson.
The Shrimps confirmed that they would be challenging in England’s third tier last Monday, as Carlos Mendes netted from the spot in extra time to grasp the victory against Newport County in the play-off final.
It’s been a turbulent week for Morecambe despite this, as manager Derek Adams opted to depart the club and take on a new challenge at Bradford City.
Morecambe didn’t wait around however, and have appointed former Oldham Athletic and Motherwell manager Robinson as their new gaffer heading into the campaign.
Robinson had a largely successful playing career, starting off at Tottenham Hotspur before moving onto AFC Bournemouth, where he made over 250 appearances for the Cheeries. Following stints with Preston North End and Bristol City, Robinson saw out his career at Kenilworth Road, the home of Luton Town.
Along with his knowledge of England, Robinson has international experience having featured for the Northern Ireland national team on seven occasions. Robinson also began his coaching career in Scotland, as assistant manager to Ian Baraclough at Motherwell. He also helped the Northern Ireland national team in Euro 2016, assisting Michael O’Neill through the competition.
His first managers job came in the 2016/17 season, as Robinson took the reigns at Oldham. However, he was only at the club for six months and in charge for 33 games, winning just seven and ending his stint with the Latics with a 21.7% win ratio.
Robinson opted to return to Motherwell to assist Mark McGhee, but McGhee was sacked within two weeks and Robinson took charge of the first team. His time in interim charge was positive, and he was granted the job on a permanent basis.
In his three years with Motherwell, Robinson guided his side to the Scottish Cup Final twice, but lost on both occasions to Scottish giants Celtic. He ends his time there with 71 wins in 169 games, and with a win ratio of 42%.
What he brings to the club
Not only does Robinson boast international experience, he has a vast range of connections within the game that could be crucial to Morecambe’s survival in League One.
This is the highest points in the Shrimps’ history, but the club have never once been relegated. The board will be keen to keep this honour intact, and therefore will have made sure that Robinson’s appointment is the right one to battle the relegation dogfight of League One. Even if he was appointed less than a week after Adams’ departure, it seems like this has been in the works for quite some time.
Morecambe fans should also expect a few set-piece specialists to be bought, as 10 of Motherwell’s 39 goals from last season came from a set piece. It shows a tactical understanding between Robinson and his players, as well as having the ability to implement it on the training ground and in the stadium.
Furthermore, there is a likeness in Adams’ style with Morecambe as to Robinson’s with Motherwell, with both playing defensive formations with the intention of sitting on the back foot, before relying on a fast-pace counter attacking goal.