Tranmere v Leyton Orient Preview: Andy Robinson eager to play part in giving new regime lift-off
ANDY ROBINSON wants to play his part in giving the regime of new Tranmere manager Ronnie Moore lift-off at the expense of Leyton Orient today.
Rovers head into an afternoon of celebrations to mark Prenton Park’s centenary looking for their first League One victory of 2012 – at the 13th attempt.
Birkenhead-born front man Robinson reckons the team’s performance level lifted a notch or two in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Notts County, which was Moore’s first match in charge.
But Robinson acknowledges he and other players must share the responsibility for the poor run of results that led to the departure of previous boss Les Parry last weekend – and must now make sure they put in a big effort to keep the club safe from the threat of relegation.
Robinson said: “The way the lads responded to losing the gaffer was to show the new gaffer what they are about. We showed a little bit of grit and determination against Notts County, which you need at a time like this.
“Les Parry wore his heart on his sleeve and loved this club through and through. I think he did a terrific job here.
“We put ourselves in a bad position considering the start of the season we had. When the gaffer goes we, as players in the team, have got to stand up and take a bit of responsibility as well. We won’t shy away from that. We probably let the old gaffer down in certain areas of our game.
“Now it is a new start, a fresh start.”
Robinson has witnessed managerial changes from inside the dressing room on a number of occasions over the past decade at Swansea City and Leeds United and recognises the impact of Moore’s arrival.
He said: “The new gaffer has restored a little bit of belief in the lads and taken away a little bit of fear which was there in the game at Chesterfield last Saturday. We could feel it in the performance. There was an edge about it.
“We feel we can only be positive after the performance against Notts County.”
Moore says he welcomes the “nervous tension in your guts” that comes with the responsibility of managing a team on match day once more. The 59-year-old was out of the game for a year before signing a short-term agreement with Tranmere this week that runs until the end of the season.
“There is nothing worse than being unemployed, going to games and not having that feeling in your stomach,” Moore said.
“On Tuesday I had to calm myself down because I was screaming like a lunatic. I had to learn to cope, learn to be a manager again. It was a little bit strange at first but you never lose it.
“It is great to be back and I’m going to make sure we stay up. I want to be here for a long time. That’s my aim.
“I’m sure that if we can get the points to make the club safe, we can get on the right footing and next season could be a great season – without putting any pressure on the chairman!”
The immediate task for Tranmere is to return to winning ways, a feeling the dressing room last enjoyed on December 30, when Bury were beaten 1-0.
Orient, smarting from a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Wycombe Wanderers in midweek, are one of the teams in the lower reaches of mid-table that Moore wants to catch and overhaul in the coming weeks.
Moore regards Orient boss Russell Slade as a longtime friend in the game but will be offering no favours this afternoon.
“We have got to get at them,” Moore said. “Russell will have them wound up after the bad result in midweek. They are five points clear of where we are but if we win the game, we drag them into it. The more teams we drag into the mix, the better it will be for us. It’s vital we win it.”
Moore added: “Orient will want to play, they will pass it. It won’t be so pretty from us and we will be in and around their feet, trying to make sure they can’t play.”
Having altered Tranmere’s playing pattern from the 4-3-3 favoured by Parry to a 4-4-2, Moore has been looking for loan signings to strengthen his options in attack. Wingers and central strikers are the top target.
During his previous spell at Prenton Park between 2006 and 2009, Moore showed he was prepared to introduce new signings as late as the morning of the match.
Long-term injuries rule out centre-back Mark McChrystal and wide men Martin Devaney and Adam McGurk.