ASH TAYLOR insists Tranmere’s self-confidence will not be shaken after the 12-game unbeaten start to the League One season was halted by two defeats in four days.
Rovers, losers on the road for the first time at Bournemouth last Saturday, were beaten at Prenton Park for the first time since last December by Doncaster in midweek.
Centre-back Taylor acknowledges the lessons to be learned from the 2-1 defeat to the Yorkshiremen, who snatched all three points with an injury time goal from former Tranmere striker Iain Hume.
But he does not believe the result reflected the quality of the team’s performance on the night.
Taylor said: “The confidence is still high in the dressing room. We are still playing football, still doing our jobs and we are still top of the league. The spirit and the club is still brilliant.
“The way we conceded so late in the game was really disappointing. Doncaster hardly came out of their half during the second 45 minutes.
“I think we can learn from what happened. Perhaps we need to be a bit more disciplined. We thought we could win the game after Jake Cassidy equalised (on 87 minutes). The crowd got us going. Maybe we should have said let’s keep the point and the unbeaten record.”
Tranmere were watched by the biggest crowd of the season of Prenton Park – 7,386 – and another big gate is likely on Saturday when Preston North End visit Prenton Park. Taylor added: “There’s a great atmosphere about the place at the moment. The fans are coming to watch as the numbers and have been right behind us. Preston will be like a little derby game with former players like John Welsh and David Buchanan in their team. It should be a brilliant atmosphere.”
Taylor, 22, is part of the young centre-back partnership with Ben Gibson, 19, that may come under pressure now that veteran defender Ian Goodison is close to regaining match fitness. The Jamaican, who underwent a knee operation in the summer, was on the substitutes bench on Tuesday.
Tranmere’s defensive record lost some of its gloss with the leaking of seven goals in the last three games.
Taylor said: “Perhaps a bit of naivete crept in against Doncaster, because we’re all young. But we are a good unit. We all talk. There’s a good connection. It is important we get a victory against Preston. We are at home. We should go for the three points and nothing less.”
Manager Ronnie Moore says his young Tranmere side do have lessons to learn but no reason to be discouraged as they look ahead to Preston’s visit. Moore added: “The doubters will be having their say about us now but the same performance against Preston would be good – we just need a different result.”
Tranmere had to be content with the consolation of a post match remark from Doncaster chairman John Ryan, who described the hosts as “the best side we have played this season”.
Moore said: “I know John really well. He’s a good man and says it how he sees it.
“We will probably play as Doncaster did on Tuesday and sneak a win somewhere this season. But that does not make me feel any better.”