Tranmere Rovers: We were lucky, admits Ronnie Moore
RONNIE MOORE admitted Tranmere were fortunate to escape with a point from a 1-1 draw with Preston North End at Prenton Park.
Rovers halted a run of consecutive defeats thanks to an 85th minute equaliser by leading goal scorer Jake Cassidy, who notched his 10th goal of the season from a slide rule pass by James Wallace.
Moore had to confess that Preston were the better side and his own team had been below par. “We were lucky,” Moore said. “We were poor, miles off it. It was men against boys at times.
“But give our lads some credit. They dug in even though we were not playing particularly well. Our passing was not good and we could not get on the ball.
“Preston should have killed the game off when Jack King went through and put it past the post and then Owain Fon Williams produced a fantastic save to keep us in it.
“We did not get the luck against Doncaster in midweek but we certainly had the luck this time.”
Moore admitted Tranmere were outmuscled. “Preston are a hard team to play against,” he said. “They turn you. They don’t mess about. They play football that can hurt you if you are not physical.
“We have one or two toughies but that’s not enough. We like the top of the ground, pass and move football.”
The draw was enough to extend Tranmere’s lead at the top of the table to two points on a weekend when Stevenage and Notts County were beaten. However, Sheffield United could draw level on points with Tranmere if they beat Portsmouth in tonight’s televised game at Bramall Lane.
Moore said: “I think there’s going to be 12 to 14 teams with a chance of going up in this league.”
The manager praised the contribution of Cassidy. The teenage striker’s equaliser followed a headed effort that was ruled out by an offside flag.
Moore said: “That had to be a tight decision because I thought the cross for Cassidy’s header was pulled back to him and the ball deflected off a Preston player. The goal was a great finish and how he got it in from that angle I don’t know.
“Jake led the line well. He never gives up and he’s not afraid to miss. For me he just needs the right partner alongside him. He had the right partner in Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro but he is injured until January and it is difficult to find a replacement.”
Cassidy’s striking partner on Saturday was Nathan Eccleston. The former Liverpool striker is starting a month on loan from Blackpool.
“Nathan needs games and you could see he has not had many,” Moore said. “He’ll get better and stronger.”
Jake Jervis, on loan from Birmingham City, should soon be clear of the ankle injury he sustained on his debut at Bournemouth 10 days ago. However, Birmingham won’t give Jervis permission to play in Tranmere’s FA Cup first round tie at Braintree Town next Sunday.
Moore said he is hopeful Robinson will have shaken off a hamstring strain.