Tranmere Rovers boss Micky Mellon has a number of decisions to make ahead of his side’s home game against Gillingham this weekend.
The treatment room is still chocker, although Jake Caprice is hopeful of a return to action on Saturday, but midfielder Ollie Banks should also be available for selection again after serving his one-match suspension against Rotherham United last week.
Add in to the mix the arrival of left-back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, on loan from Manchester United for the rest of the season, and Micky Mellon has one or two more options than he did at the New York Stadium last week, which is positive.
It will be interesting to see what team the manager selects, so let’s delve into it and look at all the options.
Scott Davies will likely be behind a back four if, as I predict, Rovers line-up in a 4-4-2 system.
Kane Wilson is the latest name in the physio’s room. The on-loan West Bromwich Albion right-back sustained a knee ligament injury in training ahead of last week’s game and will be out for 4-6 weeks.
Luckily, it appears that Jake Caprice is back to fitness to slot back into that position. After missing the first few games of the season, Caprice has been back in training this week and will likely go straight into the side in place of Sid Nelson who deputised last week.
Nelson could consider himself unlucky not to have featured more so far this season. His sporadic appearances have been in an unfamiliar right-back role and not in his more regular central defensive position where he had established himself in the side at the end of last term alongside Manny Monthe. Expect George Ray to continue to partner Monthe on Saturday.
Calum Woods is another option available to the boss at right-back, but he’s another who has missed most of the season so far and lacks match fitness and sharpness.
The other full-back position is an area for the manager to make a decision. Liam Ridehalgh has been playing there, but there is competition for the role with the signing of Borthwick-Jackson. It will be interesting to see if the Manchester United man comes straight into the team.
Ollie Banks returns from suspension, but will the former Oldham man step straight back into the side?
The experience of Darren Potter stepped in last week alongside David Perkins and did an excellent job. Banks may well have to bide his time among the substitutes for the foreseeable future.
Jacob Maddox is another player in the reckoning now. The on-loan Chelsea man was an unused substitute at Rotherham, so it seems that he’s now available for selection, but it’s likely to be off the bench again.
Paul Mullin and Stefan Payne started last weekend, the latter netting an injury time equaliser.
The manager also has Rushian Hepburn-Murphy and Jordan Ponticelli as alternative options, although Morgan Ferrier and Ishmael Miller are unavailable.
Hepburn-Murphy came off the bench to a degree of success last week and played his part in the equalising goal. He is, perhaps, a bit more direct and offers a bit more strength and pace than Mullin, but having not played much football, I think he may be best used from the bench for the time being.
If you have any thoughts on who should be starting for Rovers this weekend, or which system you’d like to see Micky Mellon operate, please join the debate on Twitter @roversrearguard.