Derek Adams praised Tom Brewitt and Alex Kenyon for their roles in Morecambe’s weekend draw with Carlisle United.
The Shrimps took a point from Adams’ first home league game in charge thanks to John O’Sullivan’s second-half header.
Brewitt produced a battling performance in the centre of midfield, winning a number of key headers and tackles in front of the back four.
It was his midfield partner Kenyon – named as skipper with Barry Roche absent from the matchday 18 and his deputy Sam Lavelle suspended – who took the man-of-the-match honours for a similarly dogged display.
“I think, in the middle of the park, they are two important players for us,” Adams said.
“In that area of the pitch, you have obviously got to stop the supply to the strikers.
“Then, on the flip side, they have got to find the passes and the two of them worked extremely hard, Tom and Alex, and then you’ve got (Aaron) Wildig coming in off the side and O’Sullivan the same.
“Lewis Alessandra is trying to get into the pockets where he’s causing teams problems and he was probably unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet as well.”
With Cole Stockton playing as the target man, the onus was on his team-mates to support him and create opportunities.
While the Shrimps’ final ball let them down on occasions, there was a willingness to get forward, not least from Aaron Wildig.
Deployed on the left-hand side, he contributed a fortuitous assist for O’Sullivan’s goal with a sliced shot which then turned into a perfect pass.
He could also have snatched a late winner but, having got on the end of Alessandra’s cross, he could only head the ball back across goal and wide when well placed.
“It’s important he does that,” Adams said of Wildig’s ability to get in good positions.
“I think, from all the players, we need to get more goals, we need to get more opportunities and today we’ve had more opportunities than in recent weeks.”