MANAGER Ronnie Moore insisted Tranmere were full value for the victory at Bury that took them three points clear at the top of the League One table.
But Moore admitted he had to give his team a half-time pep talk before Andy Robinson’s 55th-minute goal sealed a third straight win from the Christmas programme.
Moore said: “We deserved to win and on another day we might have had one or two more goals.
“I had a little pop up the boys at half-time because the performance wasn’t at the standard we want. The tempo wasn’t there. But in the second half we played better. We got into a better rhythm. We got the goal, created some chances and had a lot of corners. With better delivery we might have got goals from them.”
Robinson struck his ninth goal of the season 10 minutes into the second half after seeing his penalty saved by Bury goalkeeper Trevor Carson shortly before the interval.
Moore said: “The referee did well because it looked like one of our players was dragged back and he gave it. You fancy Robbo from a penalty but unfortunately the keeper saved it.
“Robbo keeps going. He hit the bar and then he got us the winner. He has that quality to drop his shoulder, pull the ball on the inside and he delivered a great finish.”
Robinson gave credit to Bury goalkeeper Carson. He explained: “I scored two penalties against him in the game at Prenton Park in September. He read my intentions this time. I have to stand up and say well done to the goalkeeper.
“You are never happy when you miss a penalty. I said to the lads at half-time, make sure you get me on the ball in the second half and I will get you a goal. I kept my promise.”
The New Year’s Day game marked the end of the current loan spells for Jake Cassidy and Liam Palmer. Cassidy is returning to Wolverhampton Wanderers, who want to assess first-hand whether the 19-year-old striker can adapt his game to the demands of Championship football at Molineux. However, Moore is becoming ever more hopeful that Sheffield Wednesday will release Palmer for a second loan spell with Tranmere, running until the end of the season.
The midfielder is due to sign a new contract with the Owls today, and that maybe the trigger for Palmer being allowed to return to Prenton Park.