Morecambe manager Derek Adams believes his side can secure a famous cup shock against Newcastle and give everybody connected to the club something to cheer about at this challenging time.
Steve Bruce’s side head to Lancashire on Wednesday looking to avoid an almighty upset at the hands of the Shrimps, who lie 14th in Sky Bet League Two following Saturday’s 5-0 home hammering by Cambridge.
Adams has not been shaken by a heavy loss that his players have responded to impressively, with the Morecambe boss saying that “you can’t change history, you can only enhance the future”.
But the future is uncertain for EFL sides like Morecambe, with club co-chairman Rod Taylor telling the PA news agency that “clubs will, without a shadow of a doubt, go under” unless there is financial support in the absence of fans.
The visit of a Premier League side brings the absence of supporters into sharp focus and Morecambe boss Adams hopes to give those tuning in from home something to cheer about.
“The message is always to try and win the match,” he told the PA news agency.
“I’ve had cup success with Ross County and when I was at Plymouth Argyle we went to Anfield and drew 0-0, then took them back to Home Park where we narrowly lost 1-0 to Liverpool.
“I think that it’s always about belief. I’ve beaten Celtic, I’ve beaten Hibernian with Ross County.
“Listen, it’s 11 players on the pitch on the day. Newcastle have far more quality than we do but sometimes it doesn’t work that way and that’s the beauty of football.
“I think that all the Morecambe supporters would love to be at the game, like any time you get through to the third round of the League Cup and you pull out a Premier League team.
“The players are all looking forward to it. We’ve done well to progress, beating Grimsby and Oldham along the way.
“It’s a home tie and I’m sure that Newcastle will make a few changes for the evening.”
Adams believes there will be more big names playing than there might have been at the Mazuma Stadium as Newcastle’s development side are in EFL Trophy action on Tuesday evening.
The Morecambe boss has a fully-fit squad at his disposal and his players will – as they have all season – warm up with number 34 on their shirts in tribute to Christian Mbulu.
The defender died in May at the age of 23 and continues to be remembered by the club he joined at the start of the year.
“It was extremely difficult for us because Christian Mbulu passed away suddenly not long after we went into lockdown,” Adams said.
“All the staff and players were deeply shocked by that.
“I asked the kitman to put number 34 – Christian’s number – on every training top of the players.
“It’s on the back of the training top, just so that the players can remember Christian every game and also so supporters see that number.
“I think that that’s important that we do remember him because he wasn’t here for a long period of time with us, but when he was here, he was obviously a bubbly character.
“He was infectious from the point of view that he wanted to train, do well, play games and that’s what we all took away.”
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