Imps v Rovers

Boz

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Our hosts have undergone a change of management since the last visit to Sincil Bank, with the Cowleys moving on and Michael Appleton coming in, though having to work with the existing squad until the January transfer window. They've started poorly under the new regime, but picked up a good win at Burton last weekend. As Micky mentioned in his pre-match interview, we've not won there in 30 years. Now would be a good time to change that.

Injury news isn't great. Davies out until January with a calf injury, trying to get an emergency keeper loan in, so it seems still no faith in Pilling from the management. I haven't seen Luke play in a while, so no strong views either way. Ferrier also an injury doubt, disappointing given he's looked half decent recently. Meanwhile Jacob Maddox heads back to Chelsea as MM feels it's unfair to keep him if he can't give him game time. I'm a bit surprised at this, given he apparently played well on loan to Cheltenham last season coupled with the antiquity of our midfield and hope it doesn't impact on our prospects of getting further loans from them. In the short term, Walker-Rice might get a spot on the bench in league games.

Think we might revert to 3 at the back and wing-backs, with Wilson available again. Wouldn't hazard a guess as to who'll play up front if Morgan isn't available.

Prediction: I don't see us breaking our winless streak at Lincoln, the best we can hope for is a draw.
 
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puzzled by the fact why Maddox was here in the 1st place also if we bring in a keeper as boz suggests and plays him before pilling what message does that send out to the rest of the younger players? hoping for a 1-1 draw on sat. but not confident
 
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Maddox is not a replacement for the central midfielders and we have Jennings and Morris who will both be ahead of him in the number ten role, so the decision is probably not that surprising. Mellon could not really judge him until he had worked with him at close quarters.

Similarly, I would like Pilling to succeed, but if he has a nightmare on Saturday supporters will be quick to question why we have not brought in a replacement for Davies. The manager has to do what is best for Tranmere, not solely Luke Pilling.

Regarding the game itself, I agree with Boz that we are likely to start with three at the back. I watched the highlights of Lincoln's match last week and it seems they are still strong from set plays, which is a concern given our poor record of defending them, particularly if we have a rookie in goal. It seems that Ferrier has been absent due to bereavement and could start, but if he doesn't Mellon might play Jennings just off Hepburn-Murphy, as at MK Dons.

I am not sure our record at Sincil Bank in the last thirty years has much relevance, given that we had barely played there in that period until the few seasons.

I think a draw would be a good result on Saturday, despite our failure to beat Accy last week. I think 6-700 Rovers fans will travel and we are capable of getting something from the game.
 

Boz

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Unless we’re able to bring in an assured confident keeper who settles in straight away, the situation regarding Davies’ injury looks like a lose/lose from a Rovers perspective for the differing reasons KTF and RLC suggest.

I thought Maddox’s initial recruitment was a surprise and he picked up an injury early on. Think he could play a central midfield role or as a number 10 and perhaps surprising he wasn’t given a chance in the latter position with Connor Jennings struggling to adapt to the higher level. However there may have been things behind the scenes that we weren’t aware of leading to this decision.
 
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well i think super Luke will play a blinder on saturday . blacky t and rush to tear them apart and the mighty whites to come away with 3 huge points . lets stay positive
 
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I'd like to see Luke given a chance for at least another game or two. If he's not good enough, he shouldn't have been given a new contract.
 

ADD

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Surprised by Maddox going - might be a personality thing? Especially as I thought that he did very well against Man U U21.
Re Pilling there may be a bit of kidology from MM there but personally I would be very very disappointed if Pilling does not start which sounded like what MM planned if he could find someone. Yes MM needs to do the best for Tranmere but if he still does not rate Pilling why did we extend his contract again?

As to the game - a big one for us - I would expect Wilson will play and Woods I would start ahead of Caprice as Mm confirmed he had no reaction to the Man U game.
 

bigmart

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I am led to believe that Davies will be out for at least 6 weeks that may be the reason we are looking for another keeper.

As for the game I cannot see anything but a home win and think it will be fairly comfortable 2 0
 

ONIGP

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Pilling had no high balls to deal with last Saturday, the test of how far he has come will be tomorrow Would be delighted if we could take a point from this one.
 

rossb07

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Pilling was signed on again as he fills the quota of having a home-grown player in the match day squad. Unless one of the outfield lads breaks through, it’s likely he’ll continue to be signed on for this basis aswell.
I’m sure it wasn’t the only reason and he is capable but bringing in someone to challenge for the remainder of the year who may have this levels sort of experience shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing.
 

ONIGP

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I'd like to see Luke given a chance for at least another game or two. If he's not good enough, he shouldn't have been given a new contract.
Not sure on the exact rules, BBTC, but is there not something to do with having homegrown players in the matchday squad? The same question has been asked for the last few seasons where we have renewed him on 1 year contracts but never had the confidence to give him a chance and brought in loanees, such as Rhys Taylor from Fylde.
 
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if he still does not rate Pilling why did we extend his contract again?
It is conceivable that we rated him enough in the summer to give him a further opportunity to develop, but we don't think he is good enough to start every game now. Plus, it will be a lot cheaper to have Pilling on the bench every week rather than an experienced keeper on a full salary.
 
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ADD

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It is conceivable that we rated him enough in the summer to give him a further opportunity to develop, but we don't think he is good enough to start every game now. Plus, it will be a lot cheaper to have Pilling on the bench every week rather than an experienced keeper on a full salary.
Agree he will be cheaper but part of the problem is that means that Davies still has no competition and if that logic continues never will have which is in my view not acceptable - we should have genuine competition for places in every position. I am not having a go at Scotty but he is IMO at best a L1 level keeper and recently seems less confident on high balls catching very few and punching at many more. He needs competition and what we have seen against Man U U21's and after Pilling came on last game is that his distribution is way better than Scotty's. Whether he has come on enough in terms of actual keeping is the question of course...
 
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Agree he will be cheaper but part of the problem is that means that Davies still has no competition and if that logic continues never will have which is in my view not acceptable - we should have genuine competition for places in every position. I am not having a go at Scotty but he is IMO at best a L1 level keeper and recently seems less confident on high balls catching very few and punching at many more. He needs competition and what we have seen against Man U U21's and after Pilling came on last game is that his distribution is way better than Scotty's. Whether he has come on enough in terms of actual keeping is the question of course...
I was simply defending and explaining the decision to keep Piling on, not commenting on competition in the squad morè widely. I dont think his retention is as pointless as you were suggesting. Ideally we would have more competition for Davies, but that would mean less money to spend on senior outfield players and it is debatable whether a senior keeper would be prepared to come here and sit on the bench for the majority of the season.
 

ADD

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I appreciate you were RLC and a fair point re a senior keeper sitting on the bench. It is just (and I may be completely wrong in my perception) that Davies has become a little bit arrogant given his selection is unquestioned and with a new contract - let's hope if Pilling does play he does well and then we have the ideal situation when Davies is fit again of 2 keepers both genuinely fighting for the shirt....
 

Boz

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Presuming it will be Pilling today, as no mention of signing anyone else. Given Lincoln are fond of high balls into the box, we should be better able to judge the need for an emergency loan at the end of this game.
 

Ian

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Given Lincoln are fond of high balls into the box
This is a serious concern for today's game as our defending at set pieces is terrible. I think we'll have a good go today but feel we'll let ourselves down at the back.
 

Sparky

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New keeper 29 year oldAaron chapman plays in goal ahead of Luke. 6 foot 8 and played 30 games for posh last season and every game for Accrington when they won league 2 the season before.

Decent pedigree but at the age of 22 surely it’s time for Pilling to look for first team football elsewhere.
 
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