Tranmere Rovers manager Les PArry taking care of business
LES PARRY intends to waste little time in throwing off the constraints of the caretaker’s role now he is control of team affairs at Tranmere on a longer-term basis.
The popular physio, appointed as manager until the end of the season, plans to make changes to the squad and to the structure of the way coaching is organised at Prenton Park.
One of Parry’s priorities is to address the imbalance in the squad by strengthening the defensive cover.
Financial conditions make it difficult for Parry to introduce new signings without taking current players off the wage bill but he will be releasing midfielder Seb Carole at the end of his contract in January. Right-back Zoumana Bakayogo is to be offered new terms that will extend his current deal, which also runs out at the turn of the year, until the end of the season.
Changes to the coaching department will not be to personnel. Shaun Garnett and Wayne Allison, the coaches who backed up Parry through 10 weeks of the temporary regime, also won a vote of confidence in this week’s announcement from chairman Peter Johnson.
Parry said: “I don’t kid myself for one minute. If Shaun and Wayne had not been with me I would not have been offered this job. We have worked together.”
Now Parry plans to integrate head of youth Kenny Shiels into general coaching.
The shortage of defensive cover at Prenton Park is highlighted tomorrow when Tranmere play host to Bristol Rovers without the suspended Marlon Broomes.
Rovers don’t have another specialist centre-back to cover for the experienced Broomes, so versatile teenager Ash Taylor will be taken out of a key midfield role to play at the heart of the defence against the Pirates.
Parry explained: “Some of the restrictions I have worked under are being being taken off now the job is on a longer-term basis. I no longer have to be concerned about making decisions that would impact on another manager coming in.
“I have more scope to operate in changing the squad. I have been quite open about the fact that we are too light in numbers on the defensive side. When you don’t have injuries in that area it is not too bad. But this weekend shows our frailty with Marlon Broomes being suspended.
“We have to move Ash out of the midfield role which I am not really happy about.”
Parry can expect to find himself wheeling and dealing with other managers when the transfer window opens on January 1. He said: “Money is tight. This club is run superbly on the financial side. We stick to our budgets. We can’t afford to go into administration and incur a 10-point penalty.
“This season’s budget for new players is well and truly spent so any new players we bring in will have to be funded either by players leaving or going somewhere on loan.”
Frenchman Carole, signed by John Barnes in September, did not fit into the 4-3-3 system introduced by Parry but
Zoumana Bakayogo, another Barnes signing, has established himself in the left-back position.
Parry said: “We are negotiating with Zoum to try and keep him. He understands – and his agent understands – the finances are a bit short so he is hoping we will be able to come to some arrangement.
“Zoum has done well for us. He has kept Aaron Cresswell out of the side and Aaron is a good player.”
Parry said he had been considering changes to the coaching structure for some time.
He said: “The changes are not in personnel but in the way we work. I’ve already had a word with Kenny Shiels and he will be involved in some coaching sessions with the first team and Wayne and Shaun will be involved in some coaching sessions with the youth.
“It just spreads things around and all of the players will hear a different voice from time to time. That can put a spring in their step.”
Parry’s immediate priority is to extend a run of four home games without defeat by overcoming promotion chasers Rovers tomorrow. He hopes midfielder Gareth Edds shake off an ankle injury while Paul McLaren and Charlie Barnet will be hoping to fill the midfield slot vacated by Taylor’s move back into defence.