Morecambe Manager Sammy McIlroy is aiming to celebrate the opening of the League 2 club's new Globe Arena with an against-the-odds Carling Cup victory over npower Championship side Coventry City on Tuesday evening.

The Shrimps proved they were no small-fry when they produced a couple of Carling Cup shocks in their 2007/08 debut Football League season, beating both Preston North End and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the early rounds.

Now McIlroy is hoping his team can reproduce those heroics to christen the Globe Arena in style and set themselves up for a season in which they will be looking to surpass last term's achievement of reaching the Play-Offs.

McIlroy, starting his fifth season in charge of the Shrimps, told "Everyone's really excited about the new stadium and we've got a great game to open it against a good Championship side who I think will do really well this season.

"Our supporters have been waiting all summer for this and hopefully we can put on a good show for them. It's going to be a very tough test, but there will be no pressure on us and hopefully we can come up with the sort of surprise result we've had in the past.

"When we came into The League three years ago we were seen as 'little Morecambe,' but people saw us in a different light after we'd knocked Preston and Wolves out of the Carling Cup and we built on those results to establish ourselves as a League club."

The Shrimps have certainly given themselves a firm footing in The League, finishing 11th in the League 2 table in each of their first two campaigns then just missing out on automatic promotion when they ended last season in fourth place.

A 7-2 aggregate defeat by Dagenham & Redbridge followed in the two-leg Play-Off semi-final, but that disappointment is now behind McIlroy's men as a re-shaped playing squad looks confidently ahead to the new campaign.

They lost their opening League 2 game 2-0 at Wycombe Wanderers and, after facing Coventry, have a difficult first League match at home as Rotherham United - last season's beaten Play-Off finalists - are set to visit the Globe Arena on Saturday.

McIlroy said: "It's a tough start to the season for us, but I was pleased with our second half performance at Wycombe on Saturday and I'll be looking to build on that against Coventry and most definitely in our League games coming up.

"We've had 12 players leave the club and I've brought five in, all of them really good additions. It will take time for everyone to gel and I hope that our supporters will be patient with us, because the season's not about the first 10 games it's about 46.

"What I can tell the fans is that I'm more excited about this squad than I have been about any squad since I arrived at the club. And if we can stay injury-free and have our share of luck, I'm confident we can challenge as strongly as we did last season."

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