Micky Mellon took time out this week to speak to the local press regarding Saturday’s fixture against Walsall at Prenton Park.
Mellon spoke about departures and arrivals during the January Transfer Window, Saturday’s squad, development amongst the squad and more.
Despite the busy schedule over the festive period, games now tend to be once every seven days, which gives Mellon’s players the time to prepare for upcoming fixtures.
“It gives us more time to work on things, and gives the players more time to recover. We’d rather play games, but we’re making good use of the time that we’ve got between games.”
Since the opening of the January Transfer Window two weeks ago, we have seen the departures of Ross Doohan, Dynel Simeu, Elliott Nevitt and Neill Byrne.
“We feel it’s the right time to move those players on. Dynel [Simeu] is a different one, because it was out of our hands, but the others, we thought it was the best time for both parties to pursue their careers somewhere else. They go with our best wishes, and we’ve really enjoyed working with them. But, the situation we’re in, to try and bring players in and strengthen areas that we have to, but everyone’s happy with the outcome.
“We’ll see if we have any more departures – it’s always the same. If someone isn’t playing and they want to go and play first team football, and someone has the need for someone that we have here, then the two things connect and we look at it, but that’s the way we always do it. And that’s the same way we do it with incomings – we look at areas of the team that we need to strengthen in order to give ourselves a good chance of winning games of football.
“We speak about development here all of the time, and Matt [Hewelt] has developed behind Ross [Doohan], with the help of Joe [Murphy], and we keep to our word. It’s important that everyone understands that we develop players to the point where we think that they are ready to switch in to the team, and Matt has done that, and he will be given that opportunity. He must go in there are perform and keep this club moving.
“He will play on Saturday. We trust him. He’s a good goalkeeper, and I’m pleased that he now has the opportunity to go in and show everybody how good he is.
“We are working on trying to bring people in. I don’t really like people speaking about players at other clubs, and the speculation, but I’m trying to be respectful – I wouldn’t want other managers to speak about my players. We are looking to try and strengthen this group because that’s what the demands of Tranmere are, to keep moving things forward, try to make things better and strengthen areas only with players who we believe can do that.”
Rovers currently sit in 15th place in the Sky Bet League Two table, 4 points from the play-off positions.
“We’ve always been very careful to make sure that we keep everybody on track. We knew it was a bit bizarre, to have players who are young and inexperienced – but that’s what we have with the likes of players such as Josh Hawkes, Josh Dacres-Cogley, midfield players, and Elliott too when he was here – but now we’re at a stage when we’ll keep building on that, and bring players in to compliment that.”
“We want a good player. Good players win you games. We want players who come in and do their jobs, players who you can rely on, ambitious players, players who can enhance performance. It’s all positive things. In the past, we’ve brought in players like Perkins who have had a massive impact on the season. Perkins was 38, everybody had a massive meltdown and he pushed us over the line to get promoted from midfield so we would say that that was a good signing. We know what we want to do and to achieve.
“We want players who understand that to play for Tranmere, you are expected to win games. You’ll be expected to do well in the league and to be up there, fighting. You’ll be expected to play in teams which do that or grow towards that. That’s the type of players that we want to bring here, and the type of players who the current players know that we want to bring here.
“We need people who will win us games and will push the club forwards, but as well as this, we need to keep developing players. Develop players, make them better, and moving them on when we think is the right time, to get a fee and to keep building the club up and up. When we speak to a young player, we say that we want to try and grow you into a First Team player, make you better, and help us win games.”
“I know the position that we are in, and that everyone knows that we want to kick on up the league, and I’m keeping an eye of developing players, but we’re growing towards something – wanting to score more goals, keep more clean sheets and win more games. But everything that everyone wants us to do, I do as well, but we’re always working towards that. That is something which Walsall are doing, but we’ve had 3 results from the last 4 games, 2 wins, 1 draw, 1 defeat, so we need to keep trying to win games and we’re all positive here.”