Opposing views: Morecambe fans target League Two survival

Fans of Vale’s next opponents, Morecambe, say their only target for this season is survival in League Two…

Given the clubs budget constraints and off-field problems, anywhere above the bottom two is a big achievement…

About the fans…

Joel Shooter – At about nine years old my Dad took me to Morecambe to satisfy my urge for going to a Man United match which was too expensive! This quickly spiralled into a trip to Wembley at the end of the season, and season tickets every season until I went to University.
Stuart Rae – I’ve been a supporter for over 20 years, half of them as a season ticket holder with a short break in the middle for a spell in exile. During this time I’ve seen the club rise from a part-time outfit playing at Christie Park, to a fully professional club that recently celebrated its tenth full season at their new home as a Football League member. I was first been introduced to the club by former Morecambe player Keith Galley who was the coach of my local junior football team. I’ve been involved with supporters clubs for the past five years and am currently a trustee of the Shrimps Trust.

How are Morecambe doing?

Joel Shooter – At this point we need to just avoid relegation. I usually start the season hoping for a bit higher but at this point I’d take staying up on goal difference. We usually have a blistering start to the season which is often our saving grace come May but we’ve not had that this year.
Stuart Rae – Overall I think it has been an encouraging and improved season performance wise, but we haven’t always got the results we have perhaps deserved due to a lack of goals – which is why we find ourselves just above the relegation zone. We’ve done well against in and around the promotion places – but struggled against other struggling sides. Given the clubs budget constraints and off-field problems, anywhere above the bottom two is a big achievement.

Who are the danger men?

Joel Shooter – Callum Lang (on loan from Wigan) is probably our most potent and exciting threat. Ellison has the odd surprise in him but is past-it mostly and we desperately overuse him. I also think Aaron McGowan (right back/wing back) is a cracking player for us. He came through our Academy.

Stuart Rae – The old stager and king wind-up merchant Kevin Ellison still has a big impact on games – he thrives on being the pantomime villain. The goal scoring form of Callum Lang (currently on loan from Wigan Athletic) has recently seen him awarded with the EFL young player of the month for January.

What about the manager?

Joel Shooter – He like his signings and he does well with our tiny budget but I’m unconvinced by how he uses the players. We often play our better players out of position to fit them into a system rather than coming up with a system that suits our best players.

Stuart Rae – Jimbo is a club legend. Having spent nine successful seasons at the club as player, he went straight into management and is now into his seventh season in the role. This is the third longest tenure of all current managerial roles in the top four divisions (in my time as a fan, the Shrimps only had three managers). Sections of the support might disagree, but all things considered I think he’s done a great job. I don’t think many could’ve done better with the limited resources Jim has at his disposal and only hope that he is one day in a position at this club where he can operate in the Football League on a more level playing field.

A score prediction?

Joel Shooter – If we make good use of Adam McGurk (who we have in our ranks) and Callum Lang then I’m hopeful, 2-1 to the Shrimps!

Stuart Rae – We’ve been performing well of late, but have suffered a couple of late goal sickeners. I’ll go for 1-1 Pope and Lang, in front of 150 travelling Shrimps.

Thanks to REP for asking the questions.

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