It was another bad day at the office for Tranmere as they were beaten 1-0 by Leyton Orient at Prenton Park tonight, a result which possibly flattered Rovers and put pressure on boss Mike Jackson.
For all the pre-season talk of a fightback against last season’s injustice, of building a side to challenge for an immediate return to League One and for continuing Micky Mellon’s work by installing Mike Jackson as boss, it’s been a pretty dour start.
Obviously, the season is yet young and there are months ahead of us. However, despite assembling what appears to be a strong squad, tonight highlighted some concerns from recent games. There seems to be no game plan, no system and very little cohesion between players. The football is incredibly dull.
While we have been hit with injuries and coronavirus, the eleven put out tonight was decent on paper. The performance was far from it. And now, we already have a six-point gap between ourselves and the play-offs. We’re ten points from top after only seven games.
Not good enough.
Jackson made changes tonight from the team that failed to muster a shot on target at Newport on Saturday. Manny Monthe was nowhere to be seen, Paul Lewis missed out through suspension and Jack Young was ill. Otis Khan also found himself dropped to the bench for the first time in the league this season.
Liam Feeney started, as did young forward Sam Smith for his debut. Mark Ellis also got a start.
While Rovers did have some spells of possession, it was brief and for the most part toothless. Many people have watched the game on iFollow this evening so there is little point in writing up a full report.
But one thing is clear – despite being awash with attacking talent, this team does not know how to create chances or score goals. It’s not set-up to score goals. We don’t look remotely dangerous when going forward and sadly the stats are backing it up.
Before tonight, Rovers had the joint lowest amount of shots on target in the whole of League Two, matched only by hapless Southend United. As of now, only Scunthorpe have scored less goals (3) in the entire division than Rovers who have netted four times. Southend also have four.
So, when it comes to attacking play, the stats suggest that Saturday’s game against Southend will see two of the worst attacking teams in League Two face off against one another. It’s embarrassing and frankly is a long way short of where fans expect the team to be.
Saturday is a huge game for Mike Jackson even this early in the season. Failure to pick up three points will have a lot of fans questioning how long he remains in the job, as crazy as that may seem with less than 10 games played.
Rovers need to perk up, and quick.