Jan 31 2014 by Nick Hilton, Main WIR
EVAN HORWOOD is convinced Tranmere are close to turning a corner in this season of struggle and hopes he can play a part in helping them climb away from the League One danger zone.
The full-back admits the team’s poor performance in a 2-1 home defeat to Rotherham United in midweek was a big disappointment.
But as Rovers prepare to travel to MK Dons tomorrow, Horwood insists he can detect signs of improving form and a more positive mood in the dressing room.
He said: “I’ve been thinking for the last few weeks that something seems to be clicking around the place. I don’t know what it is, I can’t put my finger on it but it seems like a happier place and there’s been more unity in the team.
“I don’t know what happened on Tuesday night. The scoreline did not lie. Rotherham were better than us and deserved the three points. If it wasn’t for Owain Fon Williams, we would have lost by a few more.
“But I still see us improving in the coming weeks and months. Something is happening and it will change for us.”
Horwood, 25, accepts manager Ronnie Moore’s judgement that the squad is under-performing in standing two points above the relegation places with 18 games remaining.
“I think we all know we can do better with the players we have in this dressing room,” Horwood said.
“I don’t think we could have had a worse start to the season. You can’t have so many men sent-off in games and get away with it. We are playing 10 versus 11 too often. We have not been winning as many games as we want recently but at least we have been picking up some points.”
Tranmere’s 1-0 home win over Crewe Alexandra last Saturday was the first victory in five games.
The best run of league games without defeat was five, a sequence in October and November which featured wins over MK Dons and Coventry City. They have not managed to post back-to-back victories all season.
MK Dons isn’t a promising destination. Rovers have lost on their last five visits, without scoring a goal.
Horwood said: “Our away form seems to be better than at home this season and I don’t know why that should be.
“The gaffer says before every game that the most important thing is what we do. MK Dons are a good team going through a bad patch. This is a strange division this season, very up and down.”
Horwood, a first-team regular after joining Tranmere from Hartlepool in the summer, found himself edged out of the left-back berth by Liam Ridehalgh, whose loan from Huddersfield Town was converted into a permanent signing in January.
Ridehalgh has missed the last two games with a groin injury and Horwood, having earned praise from manager Ronnie Moore after his performance against Crewe, does not know whether he has done enough to hold on to his place when Ridehalgh is available again.
Horwood said: “The gaffer is very black and white about your performances. Obviously, he did not think I was doing enough at the start of the season. He put Liam in and he did really well. His loss in getting injured was my gain.”
Horwood picked up an injury of his own, to the calf, on Tuesday and hopes he can shake off the problem to be in contention tomorrow.