Tranmere Rovers are back on the road as they visit the JobServe Community Stadium, home of Colchester United, this Saturday afternoon.
Last weekend’s 3-1 loss to Newport County was to be the last game of Micky Mellon's reign in charge as he was relieved of his duties the day after.
Mellon, who enjoyed five spells at Rovers across his playing and management career, will be fondly remembered by the majority of fans for his back-to-back promotions, from the National League to League One in two seasons.
The Tranmere side, who will be managed by Ian Dawes and Andy Parkinson, take on a struggling Colchester side who need a win to steer further away from the drop zone.
Rovers have won 25 and drew 21 of the 64 matches between the two teams – the last coming in August when the whites beat United by two goals to nil at Prenton Park.
Colchester come into the game following a two-all draw against Leyton Orient on Saturday – however have won just 4 games from 18 at home this season.
One To Watch: Alex Newby
Alex Newby is a 27-year-old midfielder who has played for Colchester United since the summer of 2022.
Newby started out at Bolton Wanderers as a youth player, before moving back to his hometown of Barrow, where he signed his first professional deal back in 2015.
He spent the season on loan at non-league side, Kendal Town, before joining Clitheroe in 2016, where he spent two years.
He got his break back into professional football in 2018 at Chorley, where he played 88 times and scored 21 goals, forming a key part in the heart of the Magpies midfield.
He made the move to Rochdale in 2020 and scored 12 in 74 appearances, before moving to Colchester on a free transfer last summer.
He has since scored 3 goals and got 2 assists in 29 games – with a 63% shot accuracy.
The Manager: Ben Garner
Colchester United Head Coach, Ben Garner, was appointed the ‘U’s’ boss in March 2023.
He kicked off his professional coaching career at Crystal Palace in 2004, being the Head Coach of a team in the Academy – starting at U11’s and working his way up to U18’s Head Coach – bringing the likes of Wilfred Zaha, Victor Moses and Aaron Wan-Bissaka through the clubs academy.
He was promoted to First Team Coach in 2012 under Ian Holloway, where he earned promotion to the Premier League, and despite the departure of Holloway, remained first Team coach under Tony Pulis, Neil Warnock and Alan Pardew.
He later left Selhurst Park to join up with former boss, Tony Pulis, at West Brom – eventually being promoted from Coach to Assistant Manager in 2016.
He then made his move to India, as Assistant Manager of ATK, before his contract expired and he made his first step into management as boss of Bristol Rovers in late-2019.
He was later sacked in November 2020, after a tough year with COVID, and was appointed as Swindon Town Manager less than six months later. He worked wonders with Town, leading them to the play-off semi-final, before being beat on penalties.
The following year, he was made Charlton Athletic boss, where he picked up just 3 defeats in his opening 15 games, as well as leading them into the third round of the EFL Cup, where he beat QPR, before losing out to Manchester United. He was later sacked as the club entered a period of potential takeover.
In March, he was appointed boss of Colchester United. Garner has a reputation of playing attacking, possession based football, and has picked up 46 wins and 35 draws in a managerial career spanning 123 games – meaning a win percentage of 37.4%.
How to watch Colchester United vs Tranmere Rovers?
Due to the international break, Saturday's game is available to watch on live in both the UK and overseas supporters.
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