Apr 17 2012 by Nick Hilton, Extra ST
RONNIE MOORE is prepared to cut back on the size of the squad at Prenton Park next season in order to spend more of his budget on attacking players.
Moore believes that improving the quality in the forward positions will be key to his plans to keep Rovers clear of the relegation dogfight in 2012/13.
It is likely Moore’s appointment as manager for next season will be confirmed next week. The contract rewards the 59-year-old for his outstanding work and record since he returned to Prenton Park on March 4.
By taking 20 points from 10 games, Tranmere made themselves safe from the threat of the drop and established a toehold in the top half of the League One table.
Moore has the opportunity to make significant changes to the squad inherited from Les Parry because no fewer than 16 players will be out of contract in the summer.
He said: “There is room for improvement in the squad. The most important thing, that anyone can see, is we don’t score enough goals.
“So for me, if you are looking at all of the quality teams at this level, there’s not a lot to choose between the centre backs and the midfield players anywhere.
“But every team that does well has a goalscorer and wingers who play with a bit of pace and can put balls in the box. That is basically what we will be looking for next season.”
Moore acknowledges however that Tranmere must find savings from somewhere to afford the type of players he wants.
He said: “We don’t have a £3million budget to go out and get these types of players in. They cost money. It is easy finding them, the hard part is paying them.
“So it may be that we have a smaller squad so we can afford to try and bring people in with that little bit more quality.”
Moore says he has been fielding calls from players’ agents since the first day he returned to work at Prenton Park.
Meanwhile, the moment is fast approaching when decisions have to be made on which members of the current squad will be offered terms for next season.
Moore’s selection policy so far, picking teams from a relatively small core of players, was driven by the need to maintain the momentum of results.
Now that Tranmere are safe, he is in a better position to look at the players who have spent most of the last six weeks on the bench or in the reserves.
Moore concedes however that the pressure to get results and pile up points in the final three games remains strong. Tranmere play host to mid-table side Hartlepool United on Saturday and Moore said: “It’s another game I want to win.”
He added: “I want to finish as high in the table as I can. Normally you do that by keeping the side you know and having a real go.
“But there are lots of players whose contracts are up. They are players who I need to make a decision on, about who is going to be here next season.”