MANAGER Ronnie Moore is backing Joe Thompson to come good and deliver to potential for Tranmere, after making a subdued start to his career at Prenton Park.
The 23-year-old wide man, a summer signing from Rochdale, is yet to make the big impact of other new arrivals in Rovers’ table-topping opening to the League One campaign.
Moore points out that Thompson has had to deal with off the field issues, notably the birth of his first child last week, soon after moving clubs for the first time.
“Joe has not produced the form I know he is capable of just yet but it will come,” Moore said.
“A lot has happened to the young lad. He and his wife had their first child last week and he has been concerned about that.”
Thompson missed last Saturday’s 4-0 win over Colchester to attend the birth of his child. Abdulai Bell-Baggie impressed in the right-wing position that day and will be favourite to hold on to the spot in the League One encounter with Crewe Alexandra tomorrow.
Moore gave Thompson a run in a central striking role in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat at Port Vale in midweek and he may have to settle for a place on the bench at Crewe.
Moore said: “I had a little look at Joe up front at Port Vale because he is quick and can go by people. It’s hard when you have not worked on something and it wasn’t ideal on the night. But Tommo will come good – I have no doubt about that.”
James Wallace and Andy Robinson, who were left out of the Port Vale game to rest dead legs, will be back in the side against Crewe, Moore said.
The manager’s selection is likely to revert to the lineup that started the Colchester game, with midfielders Liam Palmer and Jean-Louis Akbar Akpro recalled.
“The Port Vale game was a disappointment,” Moore admitted. “We made five changes and we did not play well. The game was an opportunity for the players who came in and I think one or two did OK. I was disappointed with the way we gave the ball away. We’ve been known since the start of the season for passing the ball well. The tempo of our game wasn’t right on the night.”
Centre-back Ash Taylor, who missed the last two games with a thigh injury, is unlikely to be ready for duty at Crewe, although Moore is more hopeful about his prospects of being available for the home game against Coventry City next Saturday.
That means a third outing at Gresty Road for the combination of on-loan centre-backs Roman Golobart and Ben Gibson.
Tranmere are hoping for a big following at Crewe. They took 1,000 supporters to their last away game in League One, a 1-1 draw at Shrewsbury Town and close to 3,000 to Villa Park for the Capital One Cup second round defeat to Aston Villa.