Comebacks so special
LIAM PALMER reckons Tranmere’s promotion challenge can be invigorated by new arrivals and players returning from injury at just the right time.
Midfielder Palmer says the dressing room has been given a lift by the comebacks of long-term casualties Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Abdulai Bell-Baggie while he is impressed with David Amoo, the frontman recruited from Preston on a half-season contract last week.
“Those players coming back are like having new signings to us,” Palmer said.
“The form they showed at the start of the season was magnificent. It is great for them to be back at this crucial time.”
Skipper James Wallace, who was Palmer’s central midfield partner before the former Everton player suffered a knee injury in early December, should be back in action by early next month.
Meanwhile, Palmer is excited by the potential of former Liverpool trainee Amoo.
“David will run all day for you,” Palmer said.
Rovers head into tomorrow’s visit to third-placed Brentford still holding top spot in League One, in spite of losing for only the fifth time in the League this season at Coventry City on Wednesday.
Palmer’s own future was sorted out this month when he agreed a new two-year contract with Sheffield Wednesday.
As soon as Palmer signed the deal, the Owls gave the go-ahead for the 21-year-old to extend his loan at Prenton Park until the end of the season.
Palmer said: “I was pleased with the way things worked out. I’ve been happy at Tranmere from the first day I came here. To confirm the loan for the rest of the season is really good.”
The Coventry setback halted a run of four straight wins for Ronnie Moore’s team, who have confounded expectations by staying ahead of the division’s big spenders through most of the season.
Palmer said: “Questions are being asked of us as a squad and we’ve been able to find the right response.
“We had that little dip before Christmas when we drew a few games and lost 5-0 at Swindon.
“We came back with four wins in a row. We were not playing at our best but we ground out the results. That’s the mark of a good team in any division.”
Moore (pictured, left) believes the lesson to be learned from the 1-0 reverse at the Ricoh Arena is that his young team must learn to be more tactically flexible. Rovers changed from their usual 4-4-2 formation to 4-3-3 on Wednesday with Danny Harrison in the holding midfield role.
Moore said: “Danny did his job but the others around him didn’t.
“When we got the ball we never exploited their lack of pace at the back in the first-half. We only did that in the second-half when we went back to the 4-4-2 formation that everybody knows.
“We need to be able to be adaptable. We can’t always be 4-4-2 because if you’re not careful everybody says ‘if you play 4-3-3 they can’t play against that’.
“We have to prove to people that we can. We’re disappointed but we’ve got to take it on the chin.
“We’ve got to make sure we don’t lose at Brentford but we won’t be going there to sit in – we’ll be having a go.”