Dec 13 2012 by Nick Hilton, The Liverpool Post
LIAM PALMER wants to help to keep Tranmere Rovers in an automatic promotion spot through to the date when his loan arrangement from Sheffield Wednesday is scheduled to expire in five games’ time.
The 21-year-old midfielder is due to say his farewells to Prenton Park on January 4, having established himself as a valuable member of Ronnie Moore’s team over the first half of the 2012-13 campaign.
He said: “I would like to think we can come out the other side of the Christmas holiday programme still around the top of the table.
“I’ve got five more games before the loan runs out and I just want to focus on doing my best for the team in every game through till then.”
Palmer, still waiting for his first Tranmere goal, agrees that Saturday’s visit to Bramall Lane would be an ideal time to break the duck.
“That will be something to remember for the rest of my life,” said the graduate of Sheffield Wednesday’s academy set-up, who will be playing a senior game against the Blades for the first time this weekend.
Palmer acknowledges he is overdue a goal, after going close to snatching a late winner in Tranmere’s 2-2 home draw with Portsmouth last Saturday.
He said: “I have had a few chances and at the end on Saturday I was kicking myself for not scoring.
“It would be great to get my first goal against Sheffield United. Hopefully it is written in the stars.”
Palmer does not know if Tranmere will be able to agree an extension of the loan arrangement with Sheffield Wednesday or whether the Owls will want to assess his development back at Hillsborough.
He said: “My loan is up after the New Year’s Day game at Bury and I’m just going to concentrate on the games I have left and see what happens after that.”
Manager Moore hopes he will be able to keep Palmer for longer, not least because skipper James Wallace is recovering a knee injury likely to keep him sidelined through most of January.
Palmer and Wallace developed a highly effective central midfield partnership over recent months, driving Tranmere’s charge to the head of the table.
Rovers, already coping with long-term injuries to striker Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and winger Abdulai Bell-Baggie as well as Wallace, hope the trio are not going to be joined by Ben Gibson.
The 19-year-old centre-back, who is on an extended loan from Middlesbrough, is waiting to hear the verdict of the specialist on the injury the thigh/groin/stomach area that has been troubling him in recent weeks.