Oct 4 2012 The Liverpool Post
TRANMERE may be punching above their weight by standing four points clear at the top of the table after the first 10 games of the League One campaign – but that does not mean that they are overachieving, insists Jake Cassidy.
The teenage striker believes Rovers are demonstrating, after completing more than a fifth of the programme, that they have the quality to compete against bigger clubs with greater resources and deeper pockets, for the right to play Championship football next season.
“I don’t think we have overachieved with our results so far,” Cassidy declared.
“I think the quality of the team speaks for itself. Look at Andy Robinson and James Wallace. We have good players throughout the team.”
Tranmere extended their unbeaten start by notching a seventh win in 10 outings at Scunthorpe United in midweek. Two second half goals by Jean-Louis Akpa Apro following a headed equaliser from James Wallace saw Rovers storm back after trailing at half time.
Cassidy acknowledges the more cautious line adopted by manager Ronnie Moore, who is working with a squad of 17 senior professionals, three first year pros and three loan signings and has been put together with one of the smallest budgets in the division.
“I think we can crack on and push for promotion,” Cassidy said. “The gaffer might be a bit sceptical about promotion but the lads really believe it.
“We work for each other on the pitch and the results have been speaking for themselves.”
Cassidy could be in line for the League One player of the month award in September, after plundering seven goals in six games during the month.
He said: “I would like to think I’m in with a shout for that but my focus is to do the job for Tranmere and try to improve with every game. My progress is coming along well, I think.”
No one would doubt Cassidy is developing impressively as a front player, two months into his second loan spell from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The youngster from Conwy in North Wales showed plenty of promise during a 10 game loan spell with Tranmere towards the end of last season that yielded five goals.
Wolves readily agreed to send Cassidy back to Prenton Park at the start of the new season on an extended arrangement that runs until January 2.
He struggled to find scoring opportunities, never mind goals, during the early weeks of the new season. Then some words of advice from the coaching staff paid handsome dividends.
Moore said: “Jake could not find the back of the net in August. We had a little word in his ear, told him where to go and how to do it and he took it on board. All of a sudden he was scoring for fun. He’s a natural finisher.”
Three weeks after notching his first goal of the season, the first of a hat-trick against Colchester United at Prenton Park, he was the division’s leading goalscorer with seven strikes.
Moore will be hoping he can persuade Wolves to extend Cassidy’s loan beyond January.
The manager understands, however, that the more goals Cassidy scores in a Rovers shirt, the more likely it becomes that Wolves will consider calling him back into their own senior squad.
Cassidy said: “It is nice for Wolves to give me the opportunity to come here and play first-team football. I took it with both hands.
“I would like to think they are keeping an eye on my progress. They have a task of their own, fighting for promotion.”