Morecambe boss Derek Adams sends a message to the club’s out-of-favour players

John O'Sullivan stepped off the bench to set up Morecambe's equaliser
John O'Sullivan stepped off the bench to set up Morecambe's equaliser

Derek Adams has issued a simple message to any Morecambe player disappointed to be left out of the starting line-up or omitted from the squad altogether.

Saturday’s draw against Colchester United saw debuts for four new signings – Toumani Diagouraga, Jordan Slew, Ryan Cooney and Adam Phillips – as well as recalls for Cole Stockton and Sam Lavelle.

It meant players including John O’Sullivan, A-Jay Leitch-Smith, Ritchie Sutton, George Tanner and Aaron Wildig were dropped to the bench.

A pre-match injury to Wildig meant Tom Brewitt was hastily named as a substitute, having initially been left out completely along with a number of team-mates including Kevin Ellison, Jordan Cranston, Shaun Miller and Lewis Alessandra.

O’Sullivan at least staked his claim by setting up Phillips’ equaliser, moments after replacing Slew midway through the second half.

“Nobody can be disappointed not to start,” Adams said.

“They have all had 20-odd games to play and, as I said, we were bottom of the league for a reason – because we haven’t won enough football matches.

“Nobody can be disappointed at being left out, they have all had ample opportunities since I came here – and in the past – and they’ll have ample opportunities in the future.

“Today’s another day, things change, people change and we go forward; it’s the start of a new era that we have to take forward now.”

All of the new arrivals showed promise, though it was Phillips who was named man of the match.

Adams said: “They added to our team, I thought Cooney was outstanding at right-back with Toums, Slew and Adam Phillips getting the goal.

“He can do that, he can play in that position where he makes a late run into the box and he did that today and got a good header.

“He was unfortunate not to have scored earlier in the game when the goalkeeper made a good save.

“Jordan Slew was at the back post and put his over the bar; over the game, I was happy with a lot of things but there’s elements of the match we could have done better at.”