High-flying Tranmere Rovers should expect special measures when teams visit Prenton Park, says Ronnie Moore
TRANMERE will have to learn to live with the consequences of their flying start to the season when they play host to League One rivals at Prenton Park, manager Ronnie Moore believes.
Moore says Rovers must expect visiting teams to take special measures to counter their attacking football and should also anticipate opponents raising their game.
Brentford adopted a specific game plan to frustrate the home side as Tranmere dropped points at Prenton Park for the first time this season in a 1-1 draw with the Londoners last Saturday.
Subsequent visitors are sure to come up with their own ploys, as long as Rovers continue to hold a place near the top end of the table, Moore warns.
He said: “Brentford made it difficult for us by putting five men across midfield. A lot of teams are going to do that now.
“Teams are going to lift their game as well, because of where we are in the table. When we played top of the league teams in the past, we knew we would lift our own game. Players find another 15% to 20% from somewhere.
“Brentford played well against us. You’ve got to give them credit.”
Moore added: “For us it’s going to be about being patient, especially at home. Not many teams are going to come to Prenton Park playing three up front and having a go. They are going to sit deep and try to counter attack us.
“It is a matter of us – the coaching staff – being patient, the players being patient and the crowd being patient.”
Moore said he was delighted with the backing his team received from a crowd of 5,720 last Saturday. The attendance figure included fewer than 300 visitors from Brentford, which suggests home support is creeping upwards in response to strong results.
Moore said: “I thought the supporters were fantastic in the Brentford game. They certainly do make a difference for the lads.”
Tranmere went back on the road this week, playing at Scunthorpe United on Tuesday night ahead of Saturday’s visit to Notts County, the team that chased them hard at the top of the table through much of September.
Tranmere’s record of four wins and two draws during September puts Moore in pole position to win the League One manager of the month award for the second time in a row. Striker Jake Cassidy is also well placed to win divisional player of the month after plundering seven goals during September. Teammate Andy Robinson picked up the League One award for August.
Points mean more than individual prizes for Moore, who has been cautious about talking up Tranmere’s potential to sustain a promotion challenge over the full course of the season with a small squad backed up by limited financial resources.
However, should Tranmere still be leading the division at 5pm on Saturday evening, Moore says he may be prepared to consider Rovers as genuine contenders for a top six finish.
He said: “We’re not stupid. People look at us and say this is where Tranmere are now and they will probably finish in mid-table. We just have to try to prove them wrong.
“We have one of the smallest squads and certainly one of the smallest budgets in the division, so the players deserve credit for what they have done so far.”
Tranmere said thank you and goodbye to Roman Golobart after the Scunthorpe game. The young Spanish centre back spent a month on loan from Wigan Athletic but played only two games before Ash Taylor’s quicker than expected recovery from injury relegated him to the substitutes bench.
Moore said: “I have got to thank Roberto Martinez of Wigan for letting us have Roman. When we signed Roman we could not have anticipated Ash Taylor coming back quite so quickly.”