Jan 17 2014 by Nick Hilton, Main WIR
JAMES ROWE hopes he has earned another chance to start at the heart of the Tranmere midfield at Peterborough United tomorrow.
The 22-year-old got the vote to step up from the fringes to replace the suspended James Wallace in the 1-1 draw at home to Walsall last weekend and left Prenton Park with two man of the match awards under his arm.
Now Rowe wants to build on a record of 17 first-team appearances, including nine starts, since he signed for Rovers last summer at the end of a pre-season trial.
“It’s good to be playing and frustrating when you are not but you always have to be there for the team,” said Rowe.
“I’m learning a lot from watching people like Andy Robinson and Jason Koumas. Hopefully I can play a lot more often. You get confidence from playing and the more I play the more confidence I get.”
Wallace’s ban has a further two games to run. The number of vacancies in central midfield may reduce, however, if manager Ronnie Moore alters Tranmere’s tactical formation from the 4-5-1 of recent matches to a 4-4-2.
Moore has hinted at a change after Tranmere’s switch to 4-4-2 in the final half-hour of the Walsall game paid dividends.
Rowe said: “We got into Walsall’s faces in the second half and we could have won the game. Getting 1-1 draws with Wolves and Walsall has been a not-bad start to 2014 but I think we should have beaten Walsall and we need to start winning our home games.”
Rowe acknowledges Peterborough, another of the promotion contenders, will be a difficult proposition, in spite of a four-game losing streak in League One and an FA Cup defeat at the hands of non-League Kidderminster Harriers in midweek.
He does not need reminding that the Posh beat Tranmere 5-0 in each of two previous meetings this season.
Rowe said: “Peterborough are a good side but we can’t show them too much respect. We need to get into their faces early on. This is a tough league and we are capable of winning anywhere.”
Rowe had not figured in Tranmere starting XI since the end of September until Moore picked him for the Walsall game.
The manager said: “With Wallace being out, the opportunity is there for James.
“It was a close run thing between him and Max Power for the spots but I think Rowe deserved to come in. He has the ability, of that there is no doubt in my mind. Here’s another young lad who needs to believe he is good enough. It is down to him.
“Whether we play three in midfield or two, the competition is on for places.
“I think he can work in a two-man midfield. He has energy and enthusiasm. He just needs opportunities and he has to take them.”