Micky Mellon spoke to the local press after Boxing Day’s 3-0 win over Doncaster Rovers at Prenton Park.
Mellon expressed his delight with the performance all over the pitch, and explained how happy he was with different aspects of play from every player in his Tranmere team.
“It’s well overdue that we put a 90-minute performance together. I was more than disappointed for how we played at Grimsby, and that wasn’t us. You can see what we’re capable of today, and I’m thinking that we should be able to achieve that intensity most, if not all of the time, and we can compete like that every week - that is what frustrates us.”
“We were so controlled and comfortable, scored some great goals and people will be thinking ‘Why don’t we do that all of the time?’. When we play like that, we look like a really good outfit, and I was really pleased.”
“I don’t think we started well. The attitude of understanding is very important. We’ve got a very young squad, and we had enough today. We must accept that we have to work hard, compete and fight for the right to want to play, and to play in a way that you are asked to do for Tranmere. We haven’t done that, especially last Saturday, but today we did, and there’s no complaints about our performance today.”
Kieron Morris scored his first league goal this season for the home side this afternoon, and Micky Mellon described his performance as ‘terrific, however frustrating’, with the Tranmere boss knowing that his winger has so much more to bring to the table.
“He [Kieron Morris] can score more – that’s not criticism, but his work rate and decision making is terrific, and he gave a full game performance today. The crowd were great today and understood what we wanted to do from the pressing model, and they knew that we’d eventually get something from that.”
Paul Lewis added a third for Rovers this afternoon to seal all three points for Micky Mellon’s team, with a Josh Dacres-Cogley cross from the full-back position being met by the substitute who headed home.
“I thought it was a great header, and again, he [Paul Lewis] should do that more. He can do much more and we can push him to do that, and I’m confident that he will deliver that. We want as many goals from all over the pitch as possible.”
Joel Mumbongo returned to Tranmere’s starting eleven today, with a superb performance, despite only managing 70 minutes of the 90 due to returning from injury recently.
“I thought he was brilliant, and gave a good old-fashioned centre forward performance – strong, physical, held the ball up well and made sure that the centre backs knew they had a game, as well as making good decisions in the press, made some good runs, always looking a threat and just an all-round good performance. He just ran out of steam with 20 minutes to go, but we expected that.”
Rovers won for the first time in the league since October 14th, when they beat Crewe Alexandra by three goals to nil.
“Football is always about winning games, scoring goals, keeping clean sheets and all that. But it was about time that we put in a performance like that – everybody was getting frustrated because I was stood saying the same things, but I was saying the same things because I know what they are capable of, and we showed that today.”
“We frustrate us, because we know that when the lads are at it like they were today, we’re a very good side. I’m very proud of them today.”
Chris Merrie and Lee O’Connor ran the midfield in the Boxing Day fixture, with a performance which benefited the other 9 men on the pitch with their incredible work-rate and desire to help the team. Mellon expressed his satisfaction with the pair’s performance.
“They were brilliant. Everything we asked them to do, they did well. They were far too passive at Grimsby and not competitive enough, and you saw how good they were today, what they are capable of and how great they were both with and without the ball.”
The next game for Tranmere Rovers is in just under 72 hours as the whites take the trip up to Cumbria when Micky’s side visit Holker Street, facing Barrow.
“The first thing you’ve got to do is turn up and give it a right good go. You have to turn up and fight for the right to play, and that’s what we’ve got to do at Barrow – fight until the game finds its way, and be able to find your combinations, your overlaps and your passages of play. But the first thing, win the battle, which is what we did today and what we must do up at Barrow.”
Despite a few knocks picked up against Doncaster Rovers, Micky Mellon said that there is no significant injury news to report on at the moment prior to Thursday evening, and commented on the return of Dynel Simeu – one which will benefit the team in the busy period of the festive season.