JOHN WELSH leads Tranmere into action at Chesterfield tonight aiming to add a little flesh to his recurring daydreams.
“I imagine myself walking out at Wembley for a final just about every day,” said the Rovers skipper. “We’re in a good position this season so that is always at the back of my mind.”
The 27-year-old is also aware that two roads to Wembley remain open to Tranmere this season, one via the League One play-offs, the other in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
If Rovers can squeeze past Chesterfield in the third round of the knockout competition this evening, they will be just three games away from a JPT final appearance at English football’s headquarters.
Welsh said: “The JPT is important because it is a chance to play at Wembley and that is something I have never done and always wanted to do. The other lads in the dressing room feel the same way. We are trying not to get too excited at this stage, just concentrating on the next game. But we know what is at stake.”
Manager Les Parry plans to give creative front man Andy Robinson his second starting appearance in five days after the 31-year-old emerged from a two-month layoff for a hamstring injury with an impressive performance in the goalless draw against Colchester United last weekend.
Robinson said: “I need to keep building up my match fitness now, so I’m ready to play again. I was very pleased to get 90 minutes under my belt against Colchester.
“We were very unfortunate with the result. We worked hard and created a lot of chances. On another day a few of them would have gone in. But I think the performance showed we are still moving in the right direction. Nine times out of 10 we will win those sort of games.”
Parry will be making some changes to the line-up that started against Colchester.
Target man Enoch Showunmi, who has missed three games with a groin strain and defender Mark McChrystal, fit again after a two month layoff with a foot injury, are likely to figure, as is midfielder Joss Labadie, who spent much of the season on the substitutes’ bench.