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Club News

The inside track on Tranmere Rovers

23 December 2022

Club News

The inside track on Tranmere Rovers

23 December 2022

Rovers travel to face Tranmere Rovers in Sky Bet League Two on Boxing Day.

Danny Schofield’s side have had another break between games, after their last scheduled outing against Harrogate Town was postponed.

Here we provide all the details on our latest opponents.

Manager 

Micky Mellon returned for a second spell in charge of Tranmere in 2021 after a year back in his native Scotland with Dundee United.

A former Tranmere player, Mellon’s first taste of management came with Fleetwood Town in 2009 with the club in the National League North at the time. He guided the Cod Army to promotion up the EFL for the first time in their history, before losing his job with them in the League Two play-offs in December 2012.

After a brief spell as assistant manager at Barnsley, Mellon returned to the hot seat with Shrewsbury Town and added another promotion to his CV in the 2014/15 season. He would then leave in 2016 and take the Tranmere job with the club in the National League.

The 50-year-old quickly became a legend at the club as he sealed back-to-back promotions for the second time in his managerial career, helping them to establish themselves back in the EFL.

Form

Tranmere have failed to win any of the previous six league games, stretching back to a 2-0 home defeat to Carlisle United on October 29. 

They picked up a point against Stockport County, before another draw on the road at Swindon Town. They were then beaten at Prenton Park by AFC Wimbledon, but did get December off to a solid start with a goalless draw at promotion chasing Northampton Town.

Their last league outing saw them lose 2-1 at Grimsby Town, with last weekend’s game against Crawley Town one of several to be called off in League Two.

Key men

Experienced defender Jordan Turnbull joined Tranmere in the summer from fellow Sky Bet League Two side Salford City.

After coming through the ranks at Southampton, it was a loan with Swindon Town where he first round his feet in the EFL in the 2014/15 campaign. He made 98 appearances for the Robins before signing a permanent deal with Coventry City.

He spent two years with the Sky Blues which also included a loan in Scotland with Partick Thistle. Once that loan spell came to an end, he was on the move again, signing for Northampton. He was a key figure as the Cobblers won promotion at Wembley in the 2019/20 campaign. Including his spell at Salford, Turnbull has now made more than 300 league starts.

Attacking midfielder Josh Hawkes made his loan move from Sunderland permanent in January after an impressive initial spell at Prenton Park.

Hawkes impressed at Hartlepool United as a teenager, scoring 12 goals in 30 league starts, which persuaded the Black Cats to take him to the Stadium of Light. The 23-year-old made just three first-team appearances on Wearside though and his loan to Tranmere came at the start of last season.

He is an important asset for Micky Mellon and has scored five goals this term.

Striker Kane Hemmings made Tranmere his fifth permanent EFL club when he arrived in January. A man with plenty of experience both in England and Scotland, the 31-year-old is two short of reaching 150 career goals.

Hemmings started his career north of the border with Rangers before featuring regularly for Cowdenbeath. He has also had two spells with Dundee, with his time in England seeing him feature for the likes of Oxford United, Notts County and Burton Albion. 

He scored eight goals in the final few months of last season, and has got four to his name this time around. 

Last league meeting

A second-half double from debutant Jacob Ramsey helped secure Rovers a 3-0 win at Tranmere when the two sides last met in February 2020. Fejiri Okenabirhie came off the bench to score his first goal for the club at Prenton Park.

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