Keith Hill described Tranmere Rovers’ 1-1 draw with Barrow as a ‘positive point’.
Though unable to round off 2020 with three points, the Whites’ boss was encouraged by the performance of his players in Tuesday evening’s Sky Bet League Two encounter at the Progression Solicitors Stadium.
James Vaughan headed Hill’s side into the lead, connecting with Liam Feeney’s cross for his tenth league goal of the campaign.
But the hosts equalised in the second-half through Scott Quigley’s successfully taken penalty in the 65th minute of the contest.
“It was a tough game. I liked the character of the side, the spirit and the fighting qualities they showed. Unfortunately, we conceded a penalty but those are moments in games,” reflected Hill. “We had other moments we could have converted and we created chances. I’m really happy with the character and the identity of the team tonight.
“I’m a bit disappointed with the result, but a good performance like tonight gives me a lot of encouragement going into the next games. I’m pleased that the players stuck together and it’s always difficult when a team goes down to ten men as they can score on the counter-attack.
“Tonight, we wanted to change it up. We looked at playing with two target men strikers to give ourselves an anchor in the final third. It wasn’t a night for playing out from the back but we wanted two target men.”
The Tranmere boss continued his assessment of the match by explaining his view on the decision to award the Bluebirds a spot-kick.
“It’s a penalty, looking at it. It’s a decision he [Nelson] doesn’t have to make. He should have been in more control, but I’m really pleased with the contribution Sid is making from an effort point of view. In those key moments, he has to show patience and has to get across the ball and block it instead of making a rash challenge. He’s really upset but he’s getting support from his teammates.”
Rovers’ attention now turns to Saturday’s away trip to Colchester United as Hill’s side look to start the New Year in style.
“It will be very tough game, but they’re all tough,” he admitted. “You can’t underestimate or guestimate anyone in this league. The club was demoted from League One last season and we’re a big team in League Two. It’s important we rise to every physical and mental challenge, followed by the technical challenge.
“I don’t need to look at the league table to give a judgement on where we are or where we can be. I believe that we’re going to have to start doing things better in and out of possession, progressively. Tonight, I am really pleased with the performance and it’s a positive point. We have a lot of games left and there are a lot of opportunities to gain good points for this marvellous football club that we work for.”