Sep 5 2013 by Nick Hilton, The Liverpool Post
RONNIE MOORE suspects Ryan Lowe could carve himself a niche as Tranmere’s poacher in the pocket this season.
The 34-year-old Liverpudlian was signed as an out and out striker when he moved to Prenton Park from MK Dons during the summer and has a track record that shows he can deliver goals at a consistent rate from the forward positions.
However, at the end of the turbulent eight days in which Rovers hit some lows and highs in terms of results and came up with a new playing pattern, Lowe turned up to win the penalty and convert the kick that delivered the first League One victory of the campaign at Oldham Athletic last Saturday.
During a 25-minute appearance from the bench at Boundary Park, Lowe replaced Jason Koumas and played the role just behind strikers Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Cole Stockton.
The game looked to be heading for a goalless stalemate when, in the third minute of injury time, Lowe’s anticipation took him ahead of goalkeeper Mark Oxley to reach a header down from substitute Akpo Sodje. The keeper caught Lowe’s heel, referee Eddie Ilderton pointed to the spot and Lowe calmly sent the goalkeeper the wrong way with his kick.
Moore was encouraged by the way Lowe performed in a role that requires a nimble mind as well as nimble feet.
“Ryan is bright and clever,” Moore said. “He will find a lot of room in that role and what he does so well is get into the box.”
Lowe found scoring opportunities were few and far between during the early games. He missed the Capital One Cup tie against Bolton last week through injury, when Moore abandoned Tranmere’s 4-4-2 formation in favour of a narrow set-up which calls for either a player just in front or just behind three central midfielders.
Moore says developing the 4-1-3-2 or 4-3-1-2 formations is a work in progress. He used Tuesday night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie against Fleetwood Town to start some of the senior pros who were obliged to sit on the bench at Oldham.
The manager said: “When all our players are fit we will be able to adapt to any system we want to. We changed the system for the Bolton game because a lot of players were missing. We could not play 4-4-2 because we did not have two wingers. We had a look at 4-1-3-2 and it worked a treat.
“It did not work so well against Oldham. So it’s something we will have to look at and tinker with.”
Tranmere are sure to be without Abdulai Baggie for Saturday’s home game with Stevenage. The winger is with the Sierra Leone squad for a World Cup qualifier against Equatorial Guinea this weekend.