Vale v Rovers

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I thought it was a brilliant effort by the players tonight, and a victory that could prove pivotal to our season. We played some really slick football at times and constantly caught Vale on the counter-attack. However, we were good at both sides of the game this evening, and when the match became a scrap in the second half, we were up for the battle and fought like mad for the victory.

In the first half, I thought we were generally in control, playing the better football through midfield and always threatening on the break through Morris and Norwood in particular. Vale were very one-dimensional in their attacking play, and heavily reliant on long balls to Pope. After half time Vale upped the tempo and the match became a battle, but we defended superbly for the most part, while still showing the greater quality in the attacking third.

I don't think a single player had a bad game. The two centre halves were excellent again; McCullogh constantly ratted and broke up play and Perkins ran the game for long periods, particularly in the first half. I was really impressed with Morris once again, both for his attacking quality - it was his run and shot which led to the first goal - and for his willingness to get back and defend. Zoum had another excellent game and we were indebted to him for a goalline clearance at 2-1.

However, the man of the match has to be Norwood. I think this was the best game I have seen him play in a Tranmere shirt; he was absolute dynamite. His run and shot for the second goal was way above League Two level, as he was tracked by two defenders and scored from an acute angle, with only tiny portion of the goal to aim at. His pace, movement and workrate were phenomenal tonight and I think we owe him a huge debt for what he has done for us in the last 3-4 years.

Credit should also go to Micky for the tactical changes he made, switching to 451 and bringing on Gilmour when things started to get a bit hairy in the second half.

A massive sequence of matches, three of them at home, now follow for Rovers.
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
Very pleased but according to the stats we had eight bookings and only two shots on target. It sounds a hardfought struggle. But that's the sort of result that means the difference between playoffs and midtable. Let's hope we can build on it.
 

Boz

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An excellent result for Rovers, putting us in touching distance of the play-offs. Sounds like a bit of a cardfest though, what was that all about?
 
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Very pleased but according to the stats we had eight bookings and only two shots on target. It sounds a hardfought struggle. But that's the sort of result that means the difference between playoffs and midtable. Let's hope we can build on it.
I think Disraeli said something about lies, damned lies and statistics..... We were much the better side and only about two of the bookings were justified. The referee was useless, for both sides.
 
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Some fighting talk from Micky in his interview, concerning those who questioned him during our difficult patch and called into question the new signings. I don't blame him at all.
 

Sparky

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Some fighting talk from Micky in his interview, concerning those who questioned him during our difficult patch and called into question the new signings. I don't blame him at all.
I personally think he’s been a bit over sensitive with some of his comments. All managers get criticised - it goes with the job - but he brought it up twice. He clearly spends too much time on social media!
 

Boz

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What exactly has Micky said?

No problems with the players he's brought in, though ideally we'd have got someone in with more pace. My main criticism would be the spell where we played five at the back against bottom half sides at home. I had thought there might be more squad rotation, but given the way Zoum has settled in after coming back into the side, it's clear that the players are being kept up to speed when out of the starting xi.
 
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I personally think he’s been a bit over sensitive with some of his comments. All managers get criticised - it goes with the job - but he brought it up twice. He clearly spends too much time on social media!
I think all managers and players are aware of social media to some extent; there is no way they can completely avoid it these days.

Some of the criticism levelled at him during the poor spell was completely over the top, suggesting that he could not recruit and was tactically clueless. It might only have been a vocal minority making those comments, but Mellon is only human and that criticism will affect him. Personally, I think it is reasonable for him to call those people out for talking rubbish, which they were.

With regard to the period when we played five at the back, I think Mellon wanted continuity between home and away matches. We had to switch to five at the back away from home because of the number of goals we were conceding, and Mellon did not want to have to change formation every week. That problem has now (hopefully) been solved as we have better midfielders who keep the ball, the defence is not as exposed, and we can play 442 home and away.
 

Sparky

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He just had a general moan post match about hopefully people will get off their backs and not question the players he’s signed.

I don’t think there has been too much to be honest so was surprised he mentioned it
 
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He just had a general moan post match about hopefully people will get off their backs and not question the players he’s signed.

I don’t think there has been too much to be honest so was surprised he mentioned it
I know when he was Shrewsbury manager and they signed Mangan from us, he logged on to the Cowsheds website. That might be where he has picked up a fair bit of negativity.
 

Sparky

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Well if that’s the case he’s mad to look at that sort of thing. I doubt many managers do as your just asking for trouble
 
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Well if that’s the case he’s mad to look at that sort of thing. I doubt many managers do as your just asking for trouble
I still think there was criticism on here and elsewhere which was not justified.
 

Ian

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I just watched the interview (it's on ifollow if you want to listen Boz) and fair play to MM. He wasn't making a song and dance about it, but was honest as always when the interviewer asked him a question about the new players and the quality they bring to the squad. If you go on the official twitter page after a defeat, some of the comments are shocking and well OTT. You have to take it all with a pinch of salt really. Football is a horribly fickle game and you are only as good as your last game. Anyway, it's been a great week for Rovers and we look upwards to the playoffs!
 
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I agree with boz regarding micky playing 3/5/2 or 5/3/2/ as comments at the time suggested we couldn,t do without steves organising skills yet at the moment the defence seems to be coping (fingers crossed) don,t know whether steve was carrying an injury or micky was reluctant to drop him. as for the new lads they seem to be a better standard than others who have been brought in
 
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I agree with boz regarding micky playing 3/5/2 or 5/3/2/ as comments at the time suggested we couldn,t do without steves organising skills yet at the moment the defence seems to be coping (fingers crossed) don,t know whether steve was carrying an injury or micky was reluctant to drop him. as for the new lads they seem to be a better standard than others who have been brought in
The majority of Mellon's signings this season have been good. The ones in January probably have more quality than those we recruited in the summer, but that simply reflects the amount of money we had to spend.

I don't think the 532 formation was anything to do with accommodating McNulty. It was simply to shore us up away from home until we could make improvements elsewhere in the squad, notably the midfield.
 
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I am just watching the Port Vale highlights on Ifollow and heard the following from the commentator:

'Tranmere have one eye over their shoulder, as they sit just six points clear of the relegation places.' Er, make that twenty points !

And to think the bloke was paid for that utter drivel.
 
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Mellon said himself a month or two ago that the players who are now within our recruitment pool are of better quality & as I’ve said before, I feel he’s really excelling managerial
wise now he’s resuscitated us from the Banarama league!
 

Ian

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I'm sure it's like this at most football clubs but it must be an incredibly tough job at times for a manager. Win and its almost expected. Lose and just watch the wolves attack in packs. Like MM said you never hear from them when we win, they just love having a moan when we lose. I guess that's the world we live in.
 
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