MANAGER Ronnie Moore says he is hopeful of securing an agreement to extend Michael O’Halloran’s loan from Bolton Wanderers as the January transfer window opens this week.
The 22-year-old striker’s current arrangement runs until Sunday and covers the FA Cup third round tie at Derby County this weekend.
However, leading marksman Jake Cassidy returned to Wolverhampton Wanderers after the New Years Day at Bury game and Moore’s attacking options are limited by the absence of long-term casualty Jean Louis Akpa Akpro, who is not due to return to action until later in January.
Moore said: “I have spoken to Bolton about Michael and hopefully we can keep him for another month. Everything should be okay. I’m just waiting for their manager to come back to me.”
Rovers probably won’t know if they will be able to re-sign Cassidy for a second loan spell until the end of January. Wolves want some time to assess whether the 19-year-old is ready to play Championship football at Molineux.
Moore remains hopeful Wolves will take the view that Cassidy’s development will be best aided by a return to Tranmere, where he’d scored 11 goals prior to the Bury game.
“We don’t know how long Jake will be gone for and we hope he will be back with us in the New Year,” Moore said.
“He has put himself under a bit of pressure recently, trying to get a goal and trying to do too much. It’s not be happening for him. I think he wants to know what’s going to happen to him next. I can affect you as a young player.
“In the meantime we have to try and get a striker in on loan. We can’t stand still and wait and Wolves might say they want to keep Jake until the end of the season. It’s going to be easier to find someone sooner rather than later in the transfer window.”
Moore says he is hopeful Rovers can secure an extension on the loan of Liam Palmer from Sheffield Wednesday. The midfielder’s half season deal ran out after the Bury game.
Midfielder Palmer’s fate rests upon whether he signs a two-year contract offered by the Owls.
Moore explained: “Liam is in negotiations with Sheffield Wednesday who want to re-sign him on a two-year contract. It’s not sorted out then (manager) David Jones is not going to let Liam come out on loan again. If it is sorted we will know where we are.”
O’Halloran’s second-half replacement, teenager Cole Stockton, notched Tranmere’s winner in the 1-0 home victory over Scunthorpe last weekend with a 59th minute header, his fifth goal of the season.
“Cole did what all good strikers do, sniffed out a chance after the goalkeeper made a world-class save from Ash Taylor’s header,” Moore said. “It was a relief. It was beginning to look like one of those games when the breakthrough never comes.
“Sometimes you can’t be brilliant, you have to grind out results and that’s what we did.”
Moore said: “When you look at our squad and how threadbare it is, the players who’ve come into the side have been fantastic in keeping us up there. They have given their all.”
Rovers are hopeful that skipper James Wallace and striker Jean Louis Akpa Akpro will be over long term injuries and ready for a return to first team action by the middle of the month.
Meanwhile he hopes his players will enjoy an afternoon off from the pressures of chasing League One points when Tranmere make their first ever visit to Pride Park for Saturday’s third round FA Cup tie.