A fan’s preview: Tranmere Rovers
- Credit: Kevin Coleman
Stevenage fan and BBC 3CR co-commentator Dean Thompson on Boro’s trip to Prenton Park
So onto Tranmere this week for the Boro, after what for me was a decent week: a 1-0 win at Notts County, followed by a brave performance at Everton with the week ending up with a point against a team that have started the season in decent form, Bradford.
The last time we visited Tranmere was on a cold day in front of Sky cameras, when Mark Roberts was player-manager, and in truth it was a pretty lacklustre performance from the Boro.
Sky had anticipated both teams being near the top of the league, but both Stevenage and Tranmere fell in spectacular fashion from top and second to mid-to-bottom table by the time of the game in March.
In fact Tranmere won two games from February onwards in 17 outings. Adding the opening games of this season - only three wins in 22 for Ronnie Moore’s men - and it looks a good time to play them.
Having listened to interviews and read the thoughts of their fans, they seem to be in a very similar situation to ourselves.
Had plenty of possession, not created the chances but when they have, haven’t taken them, and a couple of very poor defensive mistakes. Stevenage have certainly cut out the mistakes at the back with Peter Hartley slotting in nicely alongside captain Jon Ashton, along with Roarie Deacon and David Gray in at full-back.
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To me, the difference between the two clubs is we have a new manager gelling a young enthusiastic team together whereas Ronnie Moore seems to be content signing older more experienced players like our old friends, Ryan Lowe and Akpo Sodje.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a freshening up of the management team at Tranmere if things don’t improve in September and October.
This seems to be a very good time to play Tranmere, who lost midweek to League 2 Fleetwood in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, and they will be without Jason Koumas, Andy Robinson and James Wallace, who are all integral to the side.
I’m expecting a ‘Notts County’ kind of performance with a similar outcome, an away win.
I’ll be making the journey up to the Wirral with my BBC Three Counties colleague Steve Watkins and the club photographer Kevin Coleman, which I can only describe as travelling with Statler and Waldorf from the Muppet Show......!
Whichever route is best the other one disagrees with, when one wants to stop for coffee the other one doesn’t, and when one wants their case in the boot first... I just sit in the back quietly and turn the iPod up to max!!
Once we arrive in the town where we are playing I don’t think we’ve ever got to the ground first time. We followed the floodlights in Carlisle and ended up in the Railway Freight Yard...
Dean Thompson is co-commentator alongside Steve Watkins on BBC 3CR (95.5fm, 103.8, 104.5 and Local DAB).