IT’S US AND US ONLY
MANAGER Ronnie Moore has little to say to his players about Tranmere’s opponents these days.
Detailed briefings about the merits of opposition players have been deliberately cut back to a few words since Moore returned to management with Rovers last March – with impressively positive results so far.
Tranmere travel to Crawley Town tomorrow as unbeaten League One leaders.
With 17 goals scored and just two conceded in seven games, they are giving the rest of League One plenty to worry about.
Their hosts, currently lying fourth in the table, are sure to provide a difficult test this weekend but Moore won’t be doing much talking about the abilities of Crawley’s players.
Moore said: “If you ask our lads they will say I hardly talk about the opposition.
“I think I’ve learned that sometimes you can give your players too much information. You can put the fear factor into them if you are not careful.
“Saying what such and such a player can do and what another player can do can put the fear of death into your lads before they’ve gone out.”
Moore, one of the most experienced managers in the lower divisions, decided on a change of approach while he was out of the game for almost a year following his dismissal by Rotherham in the spring of 2011.
He said: “While I was out of work for 11 months I thought about one or two things. When I came back to Tranmere last March I decided to concentrate on us and not put the fear into our lads about who they were up against. I have changed my way of thinking. We let the other teams worry about us and it has worked us.”
The approach paid instant dividends when Moore inherited a team sliding towards the relegation zone last March. A run of results yielding 20 points from 10 games lifted Tranmere clear of the drop zone and they finished in the top half of the table.
Moore is following the same formula this season, after making some adjustments to the squad during the summer.
The 59-year-old, who spent nine years working as number two to Johnny King at Tranmere before becoming a manager in his own right Rotherham in 1997, insists he is still on a learning curve.
“The day you think you know everything in this game you are in trouble,” he said.
“The players today are different and you have to change with the times as well. You can’t be as severe with some as you would like to be – or as I have been in the past.
“I know Sir Alex Ferguson still gets the hairdryer out and has a go from time to time – and on occasions that does happen with me. But I’ve not had to do that this season.”
Moore explained the change in preparation since his previous spell in charge at Prenton Park between 2006 and 2009. He said: “I used to have a talk with the players on a Friday about who we were playing or we might go through it at 2pm before the game.
“All I do now on a Friday is put the opposition team on the board. We talk about them for about two minutes, about whether they are 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 and which players are left foot, which are right. That’s it.
“Then it is all about us and what we do. Everything is about getting our lads motivated to do the job in hand.”
Tranmere’s League One away fixture at Swindon Town, originally set for Saturday, December 22, has been brought forward to Friday, December 21, 7.45pm kickoff.