ANDY ROBINSON believes Tranmere must return to the high tempo game that fired them through the first half of the season if they are to regain status as promotion front runners.
Ronnie Moore’s team, now third in League One, have lost momentum after losing three of the last four games and delivering some below par performances.
Midfielder Robinson acknowledges Tranmere paid the penalty for starting slowly in the defeats to Carlisle United and Leyton Orient in the last two games – and says they can’t afford to repeat the mistake against Shrewsbury Town at Prenton Park tomorrow.
“If we start games well we’re a hard team to stop and a hard team to beat,” Robinson said.
“At our best we just don’t give the other team a breather.
“There’s nothing worse for the opposing team to be under pressure and and then find us coming at them again.
“It is hard for them when we play at a tempo.
“In a few of our recent home games we have not been up to the tempo we demand from ourselves and the manager and John McMahon also demand – particularly in the first half.
“We need to address that over the last 15 games of the season.”
The pressing issue on the Tranmere agenda is a sequence of three home games before the month of February is out, with a visit to Colchester falling in between.
Rovers play host to Shrewsbury in front of the Sky cameras tomorrow then stage the rearranged fixture against promotion chasing rivals Swindon Town next Tuesday. They face Notts County at Prenton Park on Tuesday February 26.
Robinson said: “We’ve got three big home games coming up this month.
“The first half performance in our last home game against Carlisle was unacceptable.
“There was no tempo. We started to play our normal fluid game in the second half with 10 men but we gave ourselves too much to do.
“In the second half that day we were running after the ball when it went out of play, getting it back in quickly to keep the momentum going.
“We’ve got to show that desire during the first half of games.
“The supporters respond to the tempo. If you are a fan and you’re watching you want to see the players running hard and winning the ball.
“If it’s not fluid football, that will get them going.
“We need to show that appetite from the start of games.”