Morecambe's players deserve all the credit heading their way
Derek Adams has paid tribute to his Morecambe players as they stand 90 minutes away from League One.
The Shrimps meet Newport County AFC in the League Two promotion play-off final at Wembley on Monday (3pm) with a first appearance in the third tier the incentive for victory.
It is a far cry from the situation Adams faced when succeeding Jim Bentley as manager 18 months ago with the Shrimps in the relegation places.
When he was unveiled as Morecambe boss, Adams said success would be measured by the players’ work ethic, desire and willingness to improve.
Reflecting on that observation, Adams said: “The players have shown that in abundance.
“I can’t be any prouder with the way the last 18 months have transpired.
“When I came into the club, the immediate aim was to stay in the league but this season was about results and focusing on a play-off push.
“To be fair to the players who have been here, they have put in a fantastic effort and deserve the highest praise.
“I think we are the best team in English football in terms of resources and what we have done with them.
“To have the lowest budget of the 92 clubs, to finish as high as we have, and to have the highest points total the club has had in the EFL, I think we need to have special recognition of that.”
It could have been automatic promotion instead for Morecambe, only to finish one point adrift of the top three after results on the final day went against them.
They did their part by comfortably seeing off Bradford City at the Mazuma Stadium.
However, it wasn’t enough as Cambridge United and Bolton Wanderers both won their respective matches to claim the other automatic promotion places behind champions Cheltenham Town.
Rather than let any disappointment linger, Adams’ players dusted themselves down and defeated Tranmere Rovers over two legs in their play-off semi-final.
The manager said: “If, at the start of the season, someone said you would take it to the last game with an opportunity for automatic promotion, we would have taken that.
“It’s just that Cambridge and Bolton slipped up in the last couple of games to get us into that situation.
“We won six of the last seven games and just missed out but I’m proud of my players for their efforts.”
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