League Two Rovers v Cambridge

Match result

  • Rovers

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • Draw

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Cambridge

    Votes: 2 66.7%

  • Total voters
    3
  • Poll closed .
Rovers v Cambridge
Posted by Ian
Prenton Park
Monday, April 5, 2021 - 03:00 PM
Until: Monday, April 5, 2021 - 05:00 PM
(Adjusted for timezone: Europe/London)
Categories

Upcoming dates
All times have been adjusted for the timezone: Europe/London

This event has expired and has no upcoming dates
Joined
15 Mar 2010
Messages
9,588
Player
Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
It is table topping Cambridge up next, as Rovers seek to resurrect their automatic promotion chances.

The visitors have limited resources and a small squad but have exceeded all expectations this season. They recruited well last summer and have some decent individuals, including our old friend Paul Mullin, ex-Norwich playmaker Wes Hoolihan, former Exeter midfielder Hiram Boateng and highly rated right back Kyle Knoyle. Hoolihan is unable to play two games per week due to fitness issues and is likely to miss this match, which is a boost for us.

This feels like a watershed game. If we produce another performance like Saturday's against a team on cloud nine at present and scoring a lot of goals, it could be another long and depressing afternoon. However, for all of the recent disappointments, a victory could dramatically change things. If we win, we may find ourselves back in touching distance of all of the top three, not just Bolton, with a relatively benign series of fixtures to come in the next few weeks, and the return of Vaughan on the horizon.

In terms of selection, I would revert to the 433 which has been successful for the majority of the season, with players in their preferred positions wherever possible. I would start with Lloyd, fitness permitting, and return O'Connor to the bench. I would use Lloyd or Woolery as the central striker in the front three, with Lewis either returning to midfield or the bench.

This game brings back memories of a Good Friday clash between the sides exactly thirty years ago, when both teams were at the top of the old Division Three. We beat a Cambridge side featuring Dion Dublin and Steve Claridge 2-0, at a packed Prenton Park, and both clubs were promoted at the end of the season. I would settle for the same outcome this time.
 
Last edited:
Joined
24 Jul 2017
Messages
3,384
Player
aldo
the big question is who is going to score for us, you would expect a reaction from Friday just hope we turn up this time, I would play Lloyd up top to as Lewis is just as bad as Nugent in that position at the moment
 

Sparky

Member
Joined
8 Sep 2009
Messages
3,762
Player
Chris Greenacre
Thumped 3-0. Mullin brace.

Well there’s nothing like being confident!!

I share Ian’s concerns though. If we concede the first goal then I think we’ll be in big trouble. As RLC says this is a pivotal game in our season and the impact of a positive or negative result could be massive.

I’m going for a draw
 

Boz

Member
Joined
30 Sep 2005
Messages
6,378
Player
Iain Hume
While I felt we'd lose the Cheltenham game, wasn't expecting the margin of our loss to be so comprehensive. The starting xi for that game was cautious and it wouldn't be a total surprise if we set up in a similar vein and the manager aiming for getting something out of the game before a re-set in some of the ostensibly less challenging games to follow.

While Cambridge will most likely be without Hoolihan, they've been used to that and have a fairly steady line-up otherwise. They don't have a long throw specialist, but with some decent crossers of the ball, their manager is likely to have watched our defensive shambles and encourage them to try and get behind us and ping decent ammo into the box early on in the hope of forcing a repetition. We all know what Mullin has been capable of, playing for a manager who believes in him and he would like to make a mark against us, perhaps feeling that he didn't get enough opportunity to show that while in the Rovers squad. The visitors are also a side who'll keep going the full 95+ minutes, they've often scored late and we need to remain alert throughout.

I'd agree with using players in their best position where possible and that includes moving Paul Lewis back to a central midfield role, he may have something to prove against a former club too. Did wonder about defensive adjustments, to best protect Murphy, but on balance probably best to leave it for this game and hope that lessons have been learned.
 

Ian

Super White!
Admin
Joined
21 Sep 2005
Messages
8,818
Player
Aldo
Well there’s nothing like being confident!!
Haha, sorry, but I just don't see a big change from Fri and without the referee awarding us penalties, I don't know where the goals will come from. The script is already written. Mullin comes back to haunt us! What a goal machine he's been this season. I do hope KH makes changes though so at least we try something different.
 
Joined
1 Mar 2021
Messages
136
Player
Too many of them after over 50 years!
After over 50 years of watching Tranmere through highs and lows , I can't become despondent about a loss of form after a period which has got them to 4th. The absolute worst that can happen is they are not relegated to the National League and not promoted to League One. I'm sticking to the 'Ubi Fides' principle ;0) At least the 12th man will be back next season whether that be in League Two or One.

As for Cambridge, I suspect it may be a 0-0 but am hoping for at least a 1-0 win. no point in paying to watch the game if I believe they will lose.....
 
Joined
1 Oct 2005
Messages
4,358
Player
Alan King, Barry Dyson
After over 50 years of watching Tranmere through highs and lows , I can't become despondent about a loss of form after a period which has got them to 4th. The absolute worst that can happen is they are not relegated to the National League and not promoted to League One. I'm sticking to the 'Ubi Fides' principle ;0) At least the 12th man will be back next season whether that be in League Two or One.

As for Cambridge, I suspect it may be a 0-0 but am hoping for at least a 1-0 win. no point in paying to watch the game if I believe they will lose.....
Thanks, FNM. At last, a bit of perspective. As we both remember too well with over a century between us of following our team, that relatively speaking we are doing well and one or two disappointing results don’t change that. Tranmere have had their fair share of poor managers, but Keith Hill is definitely not one of them.
 
Joined
15 Mar 2010
Messages
9,588
Player
Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
I don't think the concern is actually 'one or two results'. It is that we invested heavily in a high quality squad this season to give us ourselves our best opportunity of automatic promotion probably for decades. It would be a disappointment to throw that opportunity away, which may happen because of the Vaughan situation and our failure to properly plan for it. Adding to that disappointment is the fact we should not have been demoted to this level in the first place.

I appreciate that it is 'only football' ultimately, but some of us are heavily invested in the club and it is important to us, and we can't be so blase about success or failure.
 
Joined
15 Mar 2010
Messages
9,588
Player
Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
Nobody is making blanket judgements about Hill's performance. They are questioning decisions made in the January transfer window.
 
Joined
15 Mar 2010
Messages
9,588
Player
Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
Getting back on topic, the pitch is looking a lot better after the recent good weather. Hopefully we will able to play a bit of football tomorrow.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ian

Sparky

Member
Joined
8 Sep 2009
Messages
3,762
Player
Chris Greenacre
4 league wins in a row for Cambridge. Mullin who scored a brace against one of his former clubs Morecambe on Friday will be looking to do the same against us.

Will be interesting if any changes in the back 4. Both Clarke and Ray were generally poor on Friday and we have back up in Manny and Nelson. My guess is Keith won’t tamper with it and hope it was a one off given Cheltenham’s fairly unique style
 
Joined
1 Oct 2005
Messages
4,358
Player
Alan King, Barry Dyson
Will be interesting if any changes in the back 4. Both Clarke and Ray were generally poor on Friday and we have back up in Manny and Nelson. My guess is Keith won’t tamper with it and hope it was a one off given Cheltenham’s fairly unique style
I expect you are right about the back four and I expect us to set up more or less as we finished on Friday. There may be changes in the front six, however.
 
Joined
15 Mar 2010
Messages
9,588
Player
Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
I think O'Connor will drop to the bench, but the key will be what we do with the front three to increase our goalscoring threat. If we start with Lewis or Nugent as the central striker there is a risk that the struggles of recent matches will be repeated.
 

Ian

Super White!
Admin
Joined
21 Sep 2005
Messages
8,818
Player
Aldo
I think the key now is getting balls into the box and having someone in the box to get on the end of them. Lewis naturally drops back, Nugent is everywhere but the box so when we do get balls in there, there is no-one to attack it as we have seen in recent matches. Having Woolery and Feeney running at players and getting balls into the box would be a good starting point. Still not sure who you would have in the middle though.
 
Joined
24 Jul 2017
Messages
3,384
Player
aldo
just look at yesterday who would have Chealsea losing 2-5 to West from at home and it could have been 8
 
Joined
15 Mar 2010
Messages
9,588
Player
Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
I think the key now is getting balls into the box and having someone in the box to get on the end of them. Lewis naturally drops back, Nugent is everywhere but the box so when we do get balls in there, there is no-one to attack it as we have seen in recent matches. Having Woolery and Feeney running at players and getting balls into the box would be a good starting point. Still not sure who you would have in the middle though.
Does the nature of the service to the front men need to change ? So far our pattern of play has been similar to when Vaughan was in the side, but could we use Woolery as a pacey central striker and play balls in behind to him, like we used to with Norwood ?
 

Ian

Super White!
Admin
Joined
21 Sep 2005
Messages
8,818
Player
Aldo
Yeah, I just don’t think Woolery is particularly good in that role. He strength is running at people and facing the goal. I don’t think he has that instinct like a striker to find that kind of space. I think we should be using players in their strongest positions and Woolery and Feeney out wide can cause problems for defenders. Currently we are not testing defences much at all. Could Morris do a job up front?
 
Joined
15 Mar 2010
Messages
9,588
Player
Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
Yeah, I just don’t think Woolery is particularly good in that role. He strength is running at people and facing the goal. I don’t think he has that instinct like a striker to find that kind of space. I think we should be using players in their strongest positions and Woolery and Feeney out wide can cause problems for defenders. Currently we are not testing defences much at all. Could Morris do a job up front?
I agree, but it just feels like we have to shake things up in the attacking areas, or we will keep getting the same results. We have basically pretended Lewis / Nugent are James Vaughan and continued with the same pattern of play, and it has not really worked.

You could play Morris in a more advanced role but, again, he is someone who really prefers manipulating the ball in deeper positions, rather than breaking into the box.
 
Top