Jan 25 2014 Sat WIR
MANAGER Ronnie Moore is urging his Tranmere team to provide the ammunition to make the new twin strikeforce of Ryan Lowe and Jake Cassidy a season-changing weapon.
Cassidy, 20, the young star of Rovers’ surge to the top of the League One table in the first half of last season, returned to Prenton Park this week to begin a three-month loan spell from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The wily and experienced Lowe has been carrying the team’s goalscoring responsibilities almost single-handed the season, notching 14 goals in 26 League One games.
They are paired together for the first time when Tranmere play host to fellow strugglers Crewe Alexandra this afternoon.
Moore believes the duo have the potential to be one of the most effective forward partnerships in the division. But he says they can only deliver the firepower if Tranmere are doing well enough in other areas of the pitch to get on top of the opposition and put balls into the danger area.
Moore said: “We’ve got the leading scorer from last season and this season playing together and it is mouthwatering. But they need the service. We need good quality balls into the box from the wide men, Jake Kirby and Matt Kennedy, who looks like he is getting better in every game, and from the full-backs. If we can do that I’m sure we will score goals.
“We also have to make sure we keep it right at the other end. We have to put the opposition on the back foot. We should be looking to play at such a high tempo that Crewe are blowing after 20 minutes because we are coming at them again.
“We should try to put that much pressure on the opposition that they concede because nine times out of 10 at this level, the team scoring first wins the game.
“It’s about getting on the front foot from the start and not having to chase games, which is what has happened to us recently.”
Moore believes Cassidy can “take some of the burden” off Lowe, who has been putting his 35-year-old body through the ordeal of lone front running in a 4-5-1 formation for much of the season.
Now Moore plans to revert back to a 4-4-2 system. He is not concerned that Cassidy failed to find the net in 18 appearances for Wolves this season.
“Cassidy is a handful for defenders,” Moore said. “He is big, strong and chases things down. He feels at home here and hopefully he will pick up where he left off with us last season.
“He has been playing in a good side at Wolves. He had a few chances and did not score them but that happens to strikers. You go to one place and nothing happens for you, then go somewhere else and everything happens for you.
“I experienced that as a player myself. I got bags of goals here are Tranmere then went to Cardiff City and managed only six in 56 games. I felt I was doing nothing different but the ball wasn’t going in the net. Then I went to Rotherham and I started storing lots of goals again.
“Sometimes it’s about making a fit and hopefully it will happen for Cassidy again here.”
Playing alongside Lowe, a regular marksman through his long career, should help the youngster.
“I think Cass will learn from Ryan,” Moore said. “He will definitely get an earful if he is not doing the right things. Ryan is not short of a word or two.
“They are different types as players. Ryan likes to play on the shoulder, get into channels and get down the side of centre backs. Cass likes to hold it up, come short, link up the play and is also decent in the air. I think they should complement each other.”
Crewe’s home win over MK Dons in midweek, which took the Railwaymen out of the bottom four, adds to the significance of this afternoon’s encounter for 22nd placed Tranmere.
“I watched the game on Tuesday and it could have gone either way,” Moore said. “MK Dons missed a penalty to make it 1-1 early in the second half. Crewe fought well. We really wanted them to be beaten so they were still in the frying pan when they came here. It’s going to be tough but we have to start winning games, no matter who the opposition are. If we win this one we could move up to 16th. That’s how tight the division is. If we lose, Crewe could go five points clear of us and we would be chasing.”