Derek Adams keen to ensure Morecambe overcome lack of Wembley experience

Morecambe v Tranmere Rovers – Sky Bet League Two – Semi Final – Second Leg – Globe Arena
(Image credit: Barrington Coombs)

Derek Adams plans to get the ‘Wembley factor’ out of Morecambe’s system by arriving early for the Sky Bet League Two play-off final with Newport.

County make their fifth Wembley visit in nine years on Monday and several members of Michael Flynn’s squad lost to a 119th-minute Tranmere goal in the 2019 League Two play-off final.

Morecambe can not count on the same Wembley experience and boss Adams says plans for them to have an advanced peek at the stadium were scuppered by Covid-19 restrictions.

“We would have loved to have gone to Wembley and seen the stadium in advance but, because of Covid, we aren’t allowed to do that,” said Adams, whose Plymouth side lost to AFC Wimbledon in the 2016 League Two play-off final.

“That’s something we would have wanted to do, just to let the players see Wembley and get used to it.

“However, we’ll try and get there as early as we can on Monday for that to happen.

“It’s a beautiful surface but it’s a slow surface – 105 metres by 69 metres.

“It’s that measurement to fit European standards but, because of the stadium, it can seem bigger than it is.

“In contrast, you have other stadiums where the stands get in the way and it makes the pitch seem smaller.”

Morecambe finished the regular season in fourth, one place and five points better off than Newport.

But Newport beat Morecambe twice, 2-1 and 3-1, with former Shrimps striker Kevin Ellison scoring in County’s away win and celebrating right in front of the home dugout following his bitter fall-out with Adams last year.

Morecambe have never played in the third tier of English football and Adams said: “We know the occasion and what it is, an opportunity to get into League One.

“It’s a final of a competition and you really can’t treat it as another game.

“What we can do is try and focus on what we can do, the same as we have done all season.”

Newport recovered from a mid-season wobble to reach the play-offs by losing only one of their last nine games, a run which saw them keep six clean sheets.

County then overcame Forest Green 5-4 on aggregate in a thrilling, incident-packed play-off semi-final.

“Let’s not forget, I wasn’t allowed to sign players until almost the end of July,” Exiles manager Flynn said.

“We were behind on recruitment. Half the players are getting bonuses, half aren’t due to the restrictions that were put in place.

“So we’ve had a lot of painstaking conversations. But thankfully, we’ve got past all that and we’ve made it to a play-off final.

“It’s not always been plain sailing, but this team never knows when it’s beaten.”

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