Cole Stockton is keen to nail down a starting role at Tranmere
MAKING a mark as an impact player with Tranmere isn’t enough for Cole Stockton.
The teenage striker aims to establish himself as a first-team regular with Rovers this season.
Stockton did not start the campaign as first choice but well taken goals like the strike against Brentford last weekend can only help his cause.
“This is a big season for me,” Stockton said. “My target is to get into the first team, not be starting games on the bench. I want to be playing week in, week out.
“I’m doing what I can to impress the gaffer. Fingers crossed, I’ll get another chance.”
The 19-year-old from Rainhill, a graduate of Tranmere’s youth development set-up, is in his second season as a professional.
He made 36 appearances in 2012/13, most of them from the bench, notching six goals.
This season the competition for places up front is more intense, following the summer arrival of experienced strikers Ryan Lowe and Akpo Sodje.
Even so, Stockton is up alongside Lowe, winger Joe Thompson and midfielder Chris Atkinson with two goals after making just three starts and two substitute appearances this term.
Stockton thought he had come off the bench to snatch a dramatic 90th-minute equaliser for Tranmere against Brentford. But the Londoners struck back in injury time with a goal from the penalty spot that gave them a 4-3 win, leaving Rovers with a modest return of two points from four League One games at Prenton Park.
The youngster remains confident Tranmere can turn the results around and lift themselves up the table. A visit to bottom club Notts County tomorrow presents an opportunity to post a second win of the season.
He reckons the Capital One Cup success over Bolton Wanderers last month demonstrated how Ronnie Moore’s team can be an effective force both defensively and going forward.
“The Bolton game showed what we are capable of doing,” Stockton said. “All over the pitch we worked as a team that night.
“We are still at a stage of the season when a win can lift you quite a few places up the table.”
Manager Ronnie Moore says: “There are goals in Cole’s game. He can go as high as he wants to go. At the moment he is still learning.
“He is strong. The majority of goals come from backing into people, turning them and smashing shots in. The one he got against Brentford was getting ahead of the defender onto a great ball from Max Power. He needs to do that more often, work on his movement in the box.
“He will be okay. We will guide him and we will know when the time is right for him.”