Nov 22 2012 by Nick Hilton, The Liverpool Post
MANAGER Ronnie Moore will attempt to bolster his depleted Tranmere squad with a couple of reinforcements before the 2012 deadline for loan signings closes on Thursday.
Moore says he is anxious to recruit a striker and a wide midfielder to give his League One table toppers additional attacking and creative options.
But Moore concedes Rovers are unlikely to be able to afford the experienced players he wants most. The constraints of working with one of the lowest budgets in the division mean he will have to select from younger and inexperienced players on the fringes of Premier League and Championship squads.
Moore said: “We have identified players with experience we would like to sign but we can’t afford the money they are on. It looks as if no one is going to help us.
“We are still trying but it looks like we will have to bring in younger players who’ve maybe had one or two first-team games. We are looking for a wide man and someone with pace up front.”
If Tranmere can’t make signings by tonight they will have to wait until the opening of the January transfer window.
However, after tonight, the players at Prenton Park on long-term youth loans -- Jake Cassidy, Liam Palmer and Ben Gibson -- can be called back by their clubs at any time.
Moore said: “Wolves could call back Cassidy after Thursday, so we need to have a backup.”
Cassidy, Tranmere’s 10 goal leading marksman, is certain to return to Molineux in early January and the arrangements covering midfielder Palmer (from Sheffield Wednesday) and centre back Gibson (from Middlesbrough) run out at the turn of the year.
Moore is not expecting to have pacey front man Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, the victim of a metatarsal injury, available until mid-January while winger Abdulai Bell-Baggieis facing a two-month layoff with a medial ligament injury.
Joe Thompson hopes to be back in first-team contention within a couple of weeks after sustaining a thigh injury in last week’s FA Cup win at Braintree Town.
Skipper James Wallace, who missed Tuesday’s goalless draw at home to Walsall with a virus, hopes he will be fit for the weekend trip to Stevenage, although centre back Ash Taylor expects to miss out through suspension after picking up his fifth booking of the season against the Saddlers.
Rovers had a loan signing Nathan Eccleston on the bench for the Walsall game but Moore was unable to use him after the former Liverpool player aggravated a hamstring strain during the warm-up.
Eccleston will be returning to Blackpool, having made only one appearance during his loan spell Prenton Park. Moore said: “Perhaps we will look at him again when he is fit.”
Meanwhile defender Mark McChrystal began a month on loan with Scunthorpe on Tuesday. The 28 year old from Northern Ireland has not played a first team game for Tranmere this season. Will Vaulks, an 19-year-old defender, is due to sign for Workington this week after his contract with Rovers was cancelled.
Tranmere retained their two-point lead at the head of the division on Tuesday because none of the top seven sides could post a victory.
However, Rovers below par performance, which left them without a win in the last four outings at Prenton Park, provoked some booing from a section of the crowd, which disappointed Moore.
Moore said: We didn’t have that spark, it was like we were waiting for things to happen.
“I can’t ask any more from the lads. I think one or two of them were very surprised at the reaction from the crowd at the end.
“The players have been fantastic; I’ve got nothing but praise for them. They’re on their last legs. We all want Wallace to play, we all want Akpa Akpro to play and we all want Bell-Baggie to play, but to boo them, it astounds me.
“You pay your money and you’re entitled to say what you think. Probably if I’d paid to watch it I’d have given a boo now and then and then gone home and thought they’ve done well and did I really need to boo them.
“You can’t keep playing the way we’ve played when you’re swapping and changing and other teams are finding it the same. It’s not that easy because none of the top seven won.
“I’m gutted we didn’t win the game but we’ve got to get on with it. Energy wise and effort wise they gave everything, ability wise and decision wise in some areas we weren’t right.”