Sep 14 2013 Sat WIR
SWARM THE BEES
MANAGER Ronnie Moore judges Tranmere will be up against a Brentford team with genuine promotion potential who can be expected to take the game to the home side at Prenton Park this afternoon.
It's a challenge Moore relishes after a visit from cautious, pragmatic Stevenage last weekend produced a predictable goalless draw for the Wirral public.
Moore said: "This is going to be a difficult game and a different one from last week. Brentford are a footballing side and they are going to come here and try to win the game.
"I felt last Saturday that Stevenage sat back and just invited us to break them down. Brentford will be having a go and I think that sets up an entertaining game. They have players with good passing ability and they have goalscorers. But so have we.
"We've seen an improvement in the last couple of league games but we still need to step it up a gear. If we come out with the right attitude and play at the right tempo, I don't fear anyone."
Brentford invested heavily during the summer after missing out on the play-offs last season. The lineup today should include Joao Tiexiera, the Portuguese midfielder signed on loan from Liverpool this week.
Manager Uwe Rosler says the 20-year-old has been recruited to put a sharper edge on the Bees' creative play.
Moore said: "I have seen the lad play. I see a lot of the Liverpool and Everton youth games. We would like to have first shout on the young players Liverpool and Everton are looking to let out on loan.
"I don't know what Tiexiera's wages are but I'm sure we could not afford to pay the tax on them. Brentford have a pot of gold and we're budgeted to where we are. It would be nice to get players on the cheap but sometimes the big clubs want the wages paid in full or up to 50%. Half of what Tiexiera is on would be a million miles away from what we can afford."
Moore is an admirer of Rosler, the former East German international front man who is learning his managerial trade in English football's third tier.
Moore said: "I like Uwe Rosler. He's not big headed. There are some managers who come into the hospitality room after the game and it's all about patting themselves on the back. He's not like that.
"Brentford were so unfortunate not to go up last season and he's built a squad that will give them a chance of at least getting into the play-offs this time.
"We had two tremendous games against them last season. They pinched a draw here with an equaliser in the 96th minute and we produced one of our best performances to win 2-1 at their ground."
Tranmere have yet to reach the form they found in the first two thirds of last season but Moore can see some improvement in recent performances.
The defensive problems of the early weeks have been eased by the return of veteran Ian Goodison to the heart of the back four and Adam Dugdale began a month-long loan from Crewe Alexandra by helping Tranmere keep a clean sheet against Stevenage.
Moore said: "We can see the improvement in the performances but we need to improve another 20 to 25%.
"Dugdale did everything I wanted from a centre back last Saturday. He heads it, kicks it and does not think he is Franz Beckenbauer. At this level that is what you need to do: defend first and play after that."
Goodison, who came off with a hamstring injury after an hour last Saturday, is expected to be available. Moore said: "I think Ian is looking after his body a little more closely now is nearly 41!"
However, Tranmere won't be able to draw on the creative influences of Andy Robinson or Jason Koumas.
Moore says Koumas is "another week away" from being able to play following a groin injury. On Robinson, Moore said: "Robbo is not a million miles away."
That will leave Tranmere to fall back on the trio of young midfielders Max Power, Chris Atkinson and James Rowe.
Moore said: "We have three young midfielders who are all similar. They all want to go forward. It's hard when you are 20 to 21 years of age and not experienced enough. At the moment we don't have a sitting player in midfield to make us more solid. I tried bringing a sitting player in this week. It did not happen but hopefully it will next week."