SOMETIMES a little taste of unpleasant medicine has the desired effect.
Several members of the Tranmere squad testified over recent days that viewing a video nasty – a DVD recording of the 5-0 defeat at Swindon Town just before Christmas – help to refocus their promotion challenge.
Manager Ronnie Moore cancelled a day off on the Sunday following the thrashing at the County Ground, calling the players and staff into Prenton Park to examine the performance in every detail.
The session was analytical rather than attempt to lay blame on individuals, Moore said. The response was positive: two tight and disciplined performances delivered home wins over Crewe Alexandra and Scunthorpe United and a success at Bury.
Moore explained the thinking behind the move: “We, the coaching staff, can talk about how bad the performance was at Swindon but we needed to sit down as a group and study the mistakes that were made on the night.
“We looked at every goal we conceded, spoke about where players were positioned and where players should have been positioned on what should have been done in each situation.
“I would like to think they learned from it.
“We are not the sort of team who can let our concentration or standards drop. If we do that we will get beaten.”
Moore says the video replay is a vital tool in the modern game and few managers used it more effectively than his former boss at Tranmere, Johnny King.
He said: “If you ask players where they were when a goal is scored against us, they will always put themselves in the right place, where they should have been. So then you have to ask: how did the opposition come to score?
“Johnny King was brilliant at that when I was assistant to him here.
“He would put the situation up on the board in front of the squad and ask the players: where were you on that corner?
“He would ask them to put a cross where they thought they were - and it was usually where they should have been.
“Then he would put the video on and it would show players were nowhere near where they said they were.”