RONNIE MOORE says Tranmere have to confront the prospect of sacrificing some playing style for the substance of tightening up a vulnerable defence.
“Maybe we have come to the stage now where we have to think about getting into the opposition’s faces,” Moore said after Tranmere subsided to a 2-0 defeat at Notts County.
He added: “What we need is 11 players who are going to roll their sleeves up and get back into the Tranmere Rovers way of playing games. If that means we have to be in people’s faces rather than trying to play passing football from the back, then we have to do it.”
Notts County, bottom of the League One table with just one point on the board at the start of the afternoon, consigned Rovers to a fifth defeat in eight games with goals by Joss Labadie on seven minutes and substitute Marcus Haber on 79.
Moore admitted Tranmere fell into many of the traps they had talked about trying to avoid.
He said: “We spoke in the dressing room about setting the tempo ourselves, playing at a good pace and not conceding an early goal. We knew they would come out with all guns blazing.
“But we were poor in the first half-hour.
“We talk a good game in the dressing room, about coming out and doing the right things, chasing, harrying, closing the opposition down. But when those players cross the white line you put your faith in them to show a bit of desire, to give sweat and blood. We allowed Notts County to dominate the first half-hour. We had a go at them at half time but we should not have to be doing that in every game.
“The players on the park should be the ones pointing fingers, sorting things out and showing a bit of fight and passion. If you start by giving the opposition the initiative you are always going to be chasing.
“We have to be stronger as a group and the decision making of individuals has to be better.”
Moore sought to strengthen his options on the flanks by signing right-back/midfielder Tom Hateley on a four-month contract prior to kick-off.
The 24-year-old, the son of former England centre forward Mark Hateley, and the grandson of former Liverpool striker Tony Hateley, has spent the last four seasons playing in the Scottish Premier League with Motherwell.
The manager hinted that the signing of a left-back could also be on the cards after Rovers once again looked vulnerable down the left flank.
“The opposition were getting behind us to easily down our left side,” Moore said. “We’ve got to stop the crosses coming into our box, stop the handgrenades coming in before they blow up in our faces.”