TRANMERE have been given the green light to keep Leeds goalkeeper Paul Rachubka on loan until the end of this month.
Manager Les Parry says American-born Rachubka has fitted well into the Rovers squad since he arrived at the end of November to cover for broken hand victim Owain Fon Williams.
The loan extension will give Rachubka the opportunity to double his five Tranmere appearances so far.
Parry said: “I’m very pleased to extend Paul’s loan. He has made a number of great saves for us in his time here and fitted in really well with the lads.
“Wayne is still a couple of weeks away from returning to training, so Paul will give us the cover we need in his absence.
“I would like to thank Leeds manager Simon Grayson for allowing Paul to stay with us.”
Rachubka will be available for the games against Brentford (home) on Saturday, the trip to Yeovil Town on Saturday, January 14, the rearranged home game with Rochdale on Tuesday, January 17, the visit to Bournemouth on Saturday, January 21 and the home game against Huddersfield on Saturday, January 28.
Fon Williams had the wires taken out of his hand last week and Parry reckons it will be next week at the earliest before the Welshman can attempt to handle the ball in training.
José Baxter’s short-term loan from Everton reaches the end of its third month after the Brentford game.
If Tranmere want to extend the talented teenager’s stay at Prenton Park further, they will have to negotiate a long-term arrangement with Everton, running to the end of the season.
Parry said he would be talking to Everton counterpart David Moyes this week “to see what is best for both of us and Jose”.
Some of Tranmere’s injury worries eased over the holiday but midfielder Andy Robinson missed the Sheffield Wednesday game because of food poisoning and striker Enoch Showunmi remains sidelined with a leg injury.
Dave Buchanan, however, insists Tranmere have every reason to take encouragement from their thrilling new year holiday defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
Rovers dropped to 16th place in the League One table after a 2-1 reverse in front of a 24,000 crowd at Hillsborough.
But their performance in fighting back after going 2-0 down in seven minutes to the second placed Owls showed spirit and resilience, full-back Buchanan argued, and Ian Goodison’s 82nd minute header set up a tense finish.
Buchanan said: “I thought we showed unbelievable character because it was all one-way traffic in the second half.
“All you can do is your best and in the second half we threw the kitchen sink at Sheffield Wednesday.
“But you’ve got to look at the first half performance as well because that was unacceptable for all of us.
“We’ve got to get back on to the training ground, get refreshed and kick on again.”
Buchanan admitted Tranmere’s game plan had to be thrown out after a shocking start.
It could have been even worse as Rachubka produced a succession of outstanding saves to prevent the Owls running riot.
“We knew what to expect,” Buchanan said.
“We prepared to not give silly set pieces away and after 30 seconds we gave away a silly free-kick on the edge of the box and were 1-0 down.
“Our fans were different class. Even when we were losing the game they still got behind us. That’s important. It gives you confidence.”