Tranmere Rovers v Carlisle United – The match preview

Tranmere Rovers v Carlisle United – The match preview:

Tuesday 24th November 2020


English Football League Two

Keith Hill’s time in the Prenton Park hot-seat starts off with a game this Tuesday night against fellow promotion chasers Carlisle United. This encounter will see two clubs, both in great form, come head to head and viewers should be set for a fascinating watch of great attacking intent. If Rovers win and many results go their way they could go up to 6th, inside the playoffs, this would be a perfect start to Hill’s reign. There is plenty on the line.

There is only one certain absentee for Tranmere in this fixture. Striker Stefan Payne is recovering from a recent groin injury operation and will thus be unavailable. Full-back Liam Ridehalgh is a doubt, but not a certainty. The defender stepping up in his recovery processes. However, there is one piece of great news as attacking midfielder Paul Lewis has returned to match fitness. He was subbed late on at home to Grimsby Town, in Tranmere’s 5-0 weekend win, before scoring from the edge of the box after a perfect Morgan Ferrier assist. The services of Paul Lewis will be a great addition to the new manager’s initial plans.

Carlisle United, who sit fourth in the league table, play their home games at Brunton Park and are managed by 46 year old Chris Beech. Beech has been manager since November 2019 and did a great job in keeping his side in the football league in his first season. His ambitions have now been raised, through the start to the season his team has experienced.  The summer saw a great overhaul of squad members, seventeen players were either loaned out or sent away from the club on a permanent basis. One of the many players that left the club was young forward Harry Mckirdy, who was released before signing for Port Vale. However, the ‘Cumbrians’ managed to boost their attacking ranks as Gime Toure joined on a free transfer from the non-league Hartlepool United and Joshua Kayode signed a loan deal that would keep him in the north west until the following summer. Both players have had a great start to the 2020/21 campaign. However, it is Jon Mellish that tops their goalscoring charts with a great record of nine in fifteen. This is Mellish’s second season at the club and if the 6ft2inch 23-year-old starts on Tuesday night, he is certainly a player to look out for.

I expect to see an unchanged eleven from the one that put five past Grimsby at home. Each player put in a great shift on Saturday and this should be rewarded. I also don’t see a way of getting a win against this Tranmere side if they perform in the same manner. 

Line up; Davies, O’Connor, Clarke, Monthe, Macdonald, Spearing, Morris, Khan, Feeney, Vaughan, Blackett-Taylor

Scoreline; Tranmere 2 Carlisle United 1

Saturday’s man of the match Jay Spearing spoke to the press ahead of Tuesday night’s fixture; the midfielder spoke about many different subjects.

On the new manager and his plans:

“Hill had a meeting with us all as a squad on Monday, where he introduced himself and told us his ideas of what he wants to do going forwards, these ideas are very exciting” 

“The squad is going to be used over the next couple of weeks and he is ready to involve everybody. Everyone has a fresh start, so they have got to prove their place and earn their shirt moving forward”

“I’ve only ever heard good things about him. As soon as a new manager comes in you want to get the ball rolling and get on the field to work on his ways, so keeping Dawesy and Parky involved, it is good times and we want to keep this run going”

On Tuesday’s visitors and the squad’s ambitions:

“Carlisle are going to be a tough side to play against. They are going to get in our faces and they are going to want to play”.

“We’ve had a good run, but we can’t dwell on that now. We want to get ourselves back up near the top of the table as it’s where we feel that we belong, this squad is capable of it but we need to keep togetherness and be a unit. We are looking forward to it”.

“Carlisle are on a good run of form, they have won a lot of games and they are sitting in the top four of the league, so it will be a difficult game. However, we are at home and we want to make Prenton Park as a difficult place to come as possible. We will relish this chance in our performances”

“To push up this league, it is about the whole team as a unit and as a squad”

Quotes, as ever, taken from the club’s official website.

If you enjoyed this match preview and want to find out more about Tuesday’s visitors to Prenton Park, Carlisle United. Why not read my Q+A with a ‘Cumbrians’ fan to find out his thoughts on the state his club is in and his opinions on Tranmere; amongst other subjects. 

(New manager, Kieth Hill, talking to former interim manager Ian Dawes in training on Monday. The pair will work together in their aim for promotion)

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