Oct 10 2013 by Nick Hilton, The Liverpool Post
GETTING a break as simple as scoring the first goal in a game may be all the it takes to lift Tranmere out of their early-season doldrums, Ronnie Moore believes.
Bottom club Rovers go into the weekend visit to fourth-placed Bradford City on a run of four consecutive defeats and have won only one of their first 10 League One games.
Manager Moore reckons the psychological obstacle of trying to play catch-up after falling behind in match after match is impacting on his team, who have had their noses in front in only two games so far.
“We are probably just a short distance from turning things around,” Moore said.
“We need that little bit of luck to go for us.
“We need to score the first goal and experience what it’s like to have our noses in front.
“You can enjoy your football, enjoy having the ball instead of having to chase the game.”
Tranmere were in front against Crawley Town in week two of the season but needed an injury time equaliser from Ryan Lowe to rescue a point from a 3-3 draw. They were ahead at Oldham Athletic at the end of August – their only victory – thanks to Lowe’s 93rd minute penalty.
Otherwise, Rovers were not able to pull it back after going behind to Walsall, Crewe Alexandra, Peterborough, Brentford, Notts County, Port Vale and Swindon Town, who were 1-0 winners at the County Ground last Saturday.
Moore said: “We are always playing catch-up and we need to put that right.”
Once again, Moore felt he could find grounds for encouragement in the defeat at Swindon.
“We were tight and compact and the lads looked like they knew what they were doing,” Moore said of a performance that was defensively disciplined.
However, Tranmere’s 4-5-1 formation struggled to create openings going forward.
Moore feels the players in his squad who figured in the relegation fights of 2010 to 2012, such as goalkeeper Owain Fon Williams and defenders Danny Holmes, Ash Taylor and Ian Goodison, are supporting the less experienced individuals in the dressing room.
“The experienced lads are going to help the others and you need that to happen,” Moore said. “Our loan players have come from Championship clubs and are here to make us better. They have not been in this sort of situation before. I think they have handled it quite well so far.
“The dressing room is good. It’s not like there’s been any arguments in there. They all want to win. Last Saturday they gave everything in terms of endeavour. We needed a break and Swindon got it.”
The manager is happy that the defensive side of the team is becoming more settled with the introduction of loan signing Liam Ridehalgh, a left-back recruited from Huddersfield Town two weeks ago and Jim McNulty, a centre-back signed from Barnsley last week.
“I think we are getting the defending right,” Moore said. “You always have a chance once you stop conceding goals.”
ROVERS face the prospect of being without Andy Robinson for another month. The experienced midfielder, whose creative spark has been sorely missed while he was sidelined by a knee injury in recent weeks, has a hernia.
Moore said: “It looks like Robbo has a hernia. On top of his knee injury he is going to be out for another month.”
Moore also says Jason Koumas, another of Tranmere’s long-term casualties, faces another two to three weeks on the sidelines with a groin strain.