Tranmere Rovers currently find themselves struggling in the League One standings, so just how important is the FA Cup this season?
Winning has not been commonplace so far this term for Micky Mellon’s men, with just four victories to our name from 17 league outings in 2019-20.
Knocking out League One pacesetters Wycombe Wanderers in round one should give Rovers the confidence they need to move onwards and upwards, and hopefully that will prove to be the case in the coming weeks and months.
The manner of the win in the replay at Adams Park just over a week ago was heroic. Losing a man before half time, then conceding before the interval to go in a goal behind. And then fighting back to level things up and forcing extra time before getting a winning goal with five minutes remaining.
A really good gutsy performance to ensure a second round tie against the lowest ranked side left in the competition, Chichester City, at home and in front of the TV cameras.
The television revenue is something which wouldn’t have been budgeted for, so hopefully some, if not all, of that added bonus will be made available to the manager in January to strengthen the squad.
Victory over Chichester is not as straight forward as it first seems. We’ve had our fair share of being the underdog and proved on many occasions that a shock result can be achieved, so Micky and the squad need to be wary not to fall to another giantkiller.
But it’s a great opportunity and should we progress past the non-league opposition, it’s into round three where the teams from the Premier League and Championship come into play and the potential of a ‘glamour tie’.
If you rewind 12 months, Tranmere were lucky enough (if that’s the right term to use for a 7-0 drubbing) to be paired at home against Tottenham in the third round.
A bumper sell-out crowd at Prenton Park, plus live TV money, helped the manager bring in some shrewd acquisitions in the January market, sparking an excellent run during the second half of the season which ultimately ended with Rovers achieving promotion at Wembley.
While the end result will almost certainly not happen this time around, progress into round three could help Micky to strengthen the squad again and help us move up the League One table.
In addition, winning is a habit. No matter what competition, you want to get into that good habit and hopefully a decent run of form in this competition can go on to help our league results.
Get down to Prenton Park if you can on Sunday and let’s cheer the lads into the third round draw.