Tranmere Rovers FC may have to adapt as injuries start to bite, says Ronnie Moore
TRANMERE may have to adjust their playing style as they cope with the loss of influential players through injury and the end of loan arrangements, manager Ronnie Moore concedes.
Rovers have confounded expectations by topping the League One table after 20 games, playing a passing game that makes the most of the pace in the young side.
However, the medial ligament injury sidelining skipper James Wallace for six weeks is the latest setback to before Moore’s small squad.
Speedy front man Jean-Louis Akpar Akpro and winger Abdulai Bell Baggie are also on the long-term casualty list while Rovers face the prospect of losing leading marksman Jake Cassidy and midfielder Liam Palmer when their half-season loans from Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday expire at the turn of the year.
Moore said: “Losing players will affect you. You may have to get back to rolling our sleeves up and having a scrap and the fight, rather than trying to play nice passing football from the back.”
Tranmere, unable to strengthen the squad with new loan signings before the opening of the January transfer window, will be able to recall Cassidy and Palmer for Saturday’s League One encounter with Portsmouth Prenton Park. The pair were declined permission to play in the FA Cup game against Chesterfield on Saturday by their parent clubs.
Young prospects Cole Stockton, 18 and Max Power, 19, played prominent roles against Chesterfield.
Moore said: “Young players will have to step up to the plate. We can’t go out and get anyone until January.
“We have what we’ve got and we can probably just get 18 fit players on the team sheet. We may have to put some square pegs in round holes.”
Moore added: “I think we’ve surprised nearly everybody this season, in our league especially. Everywhere you go people are talking about Tranmere Rovers and how well we are doing.
“When you pick up your injuries that’s when it gets tough because you don’t have the depth.
“It’s going to hurt you when you pick up your knocks and that’s what’s happened to us, unfortunately.”