Mansfield Town midfielder Neal Bishop believes the honesty and lack of egos in Morecambe’s squad is why the Shrimps keep surviving in League Two.
Jim Bentley’s side, who visit the One Call Stadium on Saturday, continue to defy the odds every season, despite being tipped for relegation, and Bishop said: “Morecambe are a team that keep defying the odds.
“For the last god-knows how many seasons they have been tipped to go down and struggle and they always finish up in that mid-table area on one of the tightest budgets in the whole of the Football League.
BISHOP GETS OVERDUE TROPHY BUT NOW WANTS PROMOTION MEDAL
“That’s massive credit to their manager. He is very astute. I’ve played against him as a player and I like him as a bloke. He’s a great bloke and doing a good job there.
“So we’re not expecting anyone to come to our place and roll over.
“They will have a game plan, they have good players and they will carry a threat.
“We need to take the Newport performance and move it on a couple of levels.”
He continued: “He sets his side up really well and they play to their strengths.
“They have got workers and they’ve got a team full of people with no real egos. They all battle and know the team comes first.
“Morecambe have a way of playing and stick to it. They’re really hard to play against.
“It’s at home so the emphasis is on us to go out there, play our game and be on the front foot from minute one.
“How we do it will be for the manager and his team to come up with this week.
“Whatever he comes up with we will do our best to go out there and implement. You saw on Saturday they are very tactically aware of what’s needed and they can change games during them as they did at half-time.
“But it’s still down to the players. The manager can set us up in any way they want, it’s up to us.
“The good thing is they are coming to us. We’ve not got to do the travelling.
“I’m not sure if we will change the team on Tuesday but we’ve got a good squad here and people pushing for a starting jersey.
“We know if we’re not on it we’re going to be replaced.
“We all want to play every game and, with two back to back games against Morecambe I am sure all the lads will be pushing this week to try to get a jersey.”
Bishop said the onus will be on Mansfield as the home side to break down the visitors.
“We know what they are all about,” he said. “With all due respect to them they are the away team and they are probably looking at us as one of the bigger clubs in the league and think a point would be a good result.
“We need to make things happen and we have the players in our ranks to do that. But we need to do it for 90 minutes, not 45 like at Newport last weekend.
“We had a great home record last season and we want to continue that. And ‘the Chief’ (skipper Krystian Pearce) spoke about 25 clean sheets and we want to get one or two of those on the board as soon as possible. There’s no better place than at home on Saturday.
“It’s good to have high standards. He’s the skipper and he’s driving it. We are with him 100 per cent. My own targets are the same as last season. It’s got to be promotion.”