Here we are again. An end of season clash at home against Bury. We’ve been here before, right?
Let me take you back to 2015, and a dark day in the history of Tranmere Rovers.
Rovers had their Football League relegation already sealed following defeat away at Plymouth Argyle a week previous. Bury need a win to secure automatic promotion into League One.
It was a sombre occasion from a Tranmere point of view. Our fate sealed. Non-league football beckoning. We just wanted a dreadful couple of years to be over and done with.
The visiting supporters, however, had come for a party. They weren’t bothered about how low the opposition were feeling. There’s no room for too much sentiment in football at times and they wanted to win and gain promotion into League One.
They earned a 1-0 victory and results elsewhere meant their promotion was confirmed. They were celebrating on our patch and at the time of our lowest ebb.
You can’t knock them for enjoying their moment of success. As we know all too well, times like that don’t come around too often. But it hurt. Why can’t that be us? We were as down as down can be and they were the complete opposite.
I guess you could compare it somewhat to 2010 when we stayed up at Stockport. Staying up should be seen as a big achievement, but there was that relief and elation at Stockport while they were sinking to rock bottom. Thankfully, Rovers didn’t sink as low as County did, but I’m pleased to see them bouncing back and going for promotion to hopefully climb back into the Football League in the near future.
Fast forward to the present day and Bury come to Prenton Park on Saturday afternoon knowing that if they take three points, they’re again promoted into League One.
The difference this time is Tranmere are in a far better position than last time. We’re still in the hunt for promotion ourselves, and although three points in our pockets won’t seal an automatic place in League One next season, it would seal a play-off spot and should keep us in the race for a top three finish ahead of a final day showdown.
It would also stop Bury from achieving that success again and a party in our back yard once more. We’ve already had one party against us this week at Lincoln! Two in a week is way too much, right?!
But stopping Bury shouldn’t be the motivation. We still have a big opportunity ourselves and that is all the motivation Micky Mellon and the players need for this game.
A single point secures a play-off berth. Three points, as I said earlier, puts us back in with a chance (albeit a slim one) of automatic promotion. There’s your motivation.
This is a far different Tranmere side Bury will come up against than the one they beat in 2015. This team has balls. Passion. Desire. Determination. A will to win. A team spirit that each and every one of them will run themselves into the ground for their team mates. And some really, really talented players to boot.
It should be a really good game between two good teams. Add to that the high stakes both sides are playing for and you get the realisation of how big a game this is.
Bury have sold out their 2000 ticket allocation in the Cowsheds, and there should be a crowd in excess of 10000 at Prenton Park. The Rovers players and management deserve the support of the Wirral public. They’ve been nothing short of magnificent all season long to get us into this fantastic position. Putting Tranmere Rovers and Wirral back on the footballing map and in some style. One big boost of energy from the fans could help them in what could be the final home game of the season.
Let it be the Tranmere fans who are celebrating at full time on Saturday. Tequila all round!
One big push from all of us and we can make it happen. Super White Army!!!