Tranmere Rovers manager Mike Jackson insists that the Club are ready to attack the new season, starting with Saturday’s Carabao Cup encounter with Harrogate Town.
Jackson will take charge of his first competitive match as manager this weekend and has placed a firm focus on players adopting the correct principles and understanding what it means to represent Tranmere as his tenure gets underway.
The 46-year-old revealed that certain changes have been made regarding approaching matches, though admitted that a ‘winning mentality’ has remained the same.
Jackson said: “There’s a good nucleus of who was here in the last couple of years. They know how I work, and it’s good for the new guys who come in to link into them and tell them about me and the way I want to do things. We’ve changed little bits going forward but what we haven’t changed from when Micky was here is the mentality, wanting to win, wanting to do well, wanting to progress and do everything you need to be a successful Tranmere player. That hasn’t changed, that was ingrained in me and Micky: they all know what we were about and what I’m about.
“You’re your own person and you have a way of playing. With style and philosophy, people can get a bit too caught up in that. There are principals of the way that you want to play, when you have the ball and when you don’t have the ball, and the system you’re in won’t change. There are certain principles you need to do as a group and we have those set principles from day one in pre-season. There will be ones from last season that are still there, different ones I’ve added on to improve it but the style of play is about the people within it, picking your best players and sticking to the principles.
“When I first came in, I said about the players that we bring in representing the values of the fans that support it. That’s what we’re trying to achieve and instil in this group. With some of the people that we’ve brought in, it’s natural for them to be like that. We’re having a meeting moving forward about what it means to play for these fans and what to expect. The group of fans here want to make sure that you’re going to represent them in the right way.”
Despite no members of the Super White Army being in attendance for his opening contest as Rovers’ boss, Jackson is fully focused on the task in hand and is raring to go as football fixtures make their long-awaited return.
“We’re looking forward to it. There’s a different focus, a feeling inside your gut when you get into this week: you get a bit prickly, your focus is honed in and you know that showtime is coming. It helps you to focus you moving forward, so that’s where we’re at with it,” he said.
“We know the strengths and weaknesses; [of Harrogate] we know what we need to be good at on the day. But we can only focus on what we do, I always believe in that. There is a way of playing that we play, you know what they do and you have to go out there and enforce yourself on the game. We know what to expect, but we will only focus on what we can do and control. That will never change.”
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