Cambridge United v TRANMERE ROVERS
Saturday 26th September 2020
The pre-match write-up of Tranmere’s third league game of season 2020/21
Tranmere search for their first league win of the season, after a week of trying to put wrong to rights in training following a poor home performance in a 3-0 defeat against Cheltenham Town F.C. This weekend they travel south to face Mark Bonner’s Cambridge United, where former Tranmere forward Paul Mullin can be found in fine form.
Mike Jackson’s men face a tough task trying to defend against Mullin, they must also be alot better in attack. Improvements have to be seen this coming Saturday from a team that should be looking towards the promotion places, or atleast playing progressive football with a showing of great effort to win.
In my post-match write-up last weekend, I placed the questions that we as Tranmere fans have to see answered .. they may not be answered in press conferences, yet on the pitch if we don’t see them answered, we can only expect to see a team continue to struggle. However, past all of this negativity Tranmere fans should remain excited about the chance of seeing the new signings on their screens this weekend. In the week leading up to last weekend’s defeat against ‘the robins’ two forwards secured their futures at Prenton Park: Kaiyne Woolery and Liam Feeney. Although Woolery is unable to play due to a lack of match fitness, right-winger Feeney replaced Mark Ellis midway through last saturday’s game and excelled creating many attacking situations. Tranmere fans should be excited about Feeney as he is a possible match-winner however other match winners such as Corey Blackett-Taylor, Morgan Ferrier and Kaiyne Woolery all remain on the touchline unable to play.
Quotes from Mike Jackon’s pre-match interview:
‘Cambridge are a good team, we understand their strengths and we aim to do our best to do well whilst respecting our opponents. We were disappointed after last weekend’s defeat at Prenton Park,it hurt me as well as the team, thus we look forward to improving and aiming to do well this weekend. How we respond from defeat will show people a lot about the characters that we are. We’ve had a good week in training and we’ve seen players become stronger and get fitter. However, with the amount of signings that we have made it’ll take time to build playing connections within the team. Regardless, we have to learn how to compete’.
Quotes from, captain and goalkeeper, Scott Davies’ pre-match interview:
‘After a defeat, you want to play straight away. However, having no midweek games gives you the chance to work and be prepared to play well. We weren’t happy with our performance last Saturday, but I’ve been in this game long enough to understand that it won’t fully determine where we finish at the end of the season. If we put the work in, we will see more positive than negative results. This team is a new group, we have to stick together and listen to the manager’s instructions and deliver on matchdays. We’ve learnt from our mistakes, we have to be model professionals’.
Tranmere’s opponents this weekend are Cambridge United, who are aiming to set their sights higher than their league position last season of 16th. They changed their manager on 9th March 2020, Mark Bonner replaced Colin Calderwood. However, due to COVID-19 Bonner wouldn’t be able to manage a league game until September and the U’s have started off extremely well. Going into this weekend, Cambridge United sit at the top of the table and after two league games former Tranmere forward Paul Mullin sits at the top of their scoring charts with three goals. Mullin got all three in a hat trick against Morecambe last weekend so he is in great form. This pre-season Cambridge overhauled their squad as they aim for a successful campaign. Players such as centre-forward Jabo Ibehere, central midfielder Samir Carruthers, centre-half George Taft and central-midfielder Paul Lewis who was quickly snapped up by Tranmere Rovers were released. George Maris was another player who left the Abbey Stadium this summer, signing for Mansfield Town on an undisclosed fee. Coming into the Abbey gates: striker Paul Mullin from Tranmere, defensive midfielder Paul Digby from Stevenage and interestingly former Norwich player Wes Hoolahan came back to England after a spell with Newcastle Jets in Australia. Many others were brought in as well, as seven secured their signatures on free signing contracts. However, two signed on a season long loan: Robbie Cundy from Bristol City and Idris El Mizouni from Ipswich Town. Thus, the Tranmere defence have to face many difficult questions this weekend and the attackers have to produce at the other end against a strong defence.
TRANMERE ROVERS v cambridge united – record:
Played – 26
Won – 9
Draws – 8
Defeats – 9
Tranmere faced Cambridge twice as league opposition in the 2018/19 season, Micky Mellon’s ‘super whites’ were victorious 1-0 at Prenton Park and they drew 0-0 in Cambridgeshire.
This Saturday, I’d love to see Mike Jackson set Tranmere out in an eleven that aims to play progressive football. We have to start attacking teams, if we see the continuation of playing with a defensive style and give starts to more defensive than progrssive players I personally believe that we’ll struggle. I believe we are capable of winning if our playing style and starting eleven are progressive.
The Tranmere eleven that I’d like to see play at Cambridge United:
O’Connor Ellis Clarke Ridehalgh
Feeney Morris Khan
My result prediction: Cambridge United 1 Tranmere Rovers 2.