Micky Mellon spoke to the local press following Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Sutton United at Prenton Park.
Mellon mentioned the way that his side started the game, the individual performances of his striker and centre-halves, and the departures of Dynell Simeu and Neill Byrne.
“We didn’t start the game well, especially in the first thirty minutes. I was disappointed with the midfield today – I’m not saying anything here which I haven’t said in there – and we weren’t at the races in the first half an hour.”
“We started to contest then as the ball progressed further up the pitch, and after going a goal behind, we got a really good goal. We came in at half time, managed to shift some things around, and then we score a really well-worked second goal. From then, I thought that there was only going to be one winner.
“I think it would be wrong of me to say that my goalkeeper isn’t a really good goalkeeper, and because we think that, he should be saving that. A goalkeeper of his quality should save that – but he’s first to put his hand up and he is more disappointed in himself than anyone else. At times, he’s made saves which really has kept us in games, so it’s unfortunate, but we were certainly disappointed in conceding such a cheap goal.”
Sutton United opened the scoring in the 10th minute when Alistair Smith finished a good move from the visitors.
“For their opener, we weren’t aggressive enough in the middle of the pitch, never got to the ball or dealt with the one-two, and to not anticipate anything and let them play through us isn’t good enough. That sums up the first half an hour though – a few yards off it.
“After their first goal, the lads got up the pitch more and started playing through the midfield, and when we play like that, the midfield is the heartbeat of the team. That is why it’s so important to play through them to create opportunities.”
“I thought the two centre halves were superb. They were good, old-fashioned centre-half displays, and I thought that they were composed on the ball, when they could play, they played, and we now have to keep pushing on and becoming the team which the fans want to see.
“I thought Kane [Hemmings] played really well too. He scored a really good goal, and I think that he played well all afternoon. It was going to be a battle, we knew that, but what you’ve got to do in these games is win the knockdowns and then go and play, and Kane certainly helped us do that this afternoon.
“I said in my pre-match press conference that it’s about putting 90-minute performances together, and game management at the vital times, in order to try and win these games. We wouldn’t expect to score 2 goals at home and not win the game, but it is what it is, and we need to keep working hard next week in training.
“It’s always a tough division, and we always knew what the challenge was going to be for us with the group that we had– but that’s a blessing because the same players are playing together each week and forming those relationships.”
Thousands of fans backed the Super White Army on Saturday afternoon, as Rovers returned to Prenton Park for the first time in 2023.
“I’d like to thank the fans for being patient with us again today. I know that we’re heading in the right direction and this group is growing, but today was disappointing – we just wanted that win.”
Mellon expressed his opinions and spoke truthfully on the departure of defender, Dynel Simeu, who was recalled from his loan spell at the club, and embarked on a new challenge at League One side Morecambe.
“We kind of knew about it because we know everybody in the game. He knew, as we did, that there may have been better opportunities in League One, and I spoke to him about that, but he made the decision that if a better opportunity came in League One then he could go for that, and that’s fine. Southampton were professional about it and understood our disappointment, but we’ve got two good centre-backs, and as long as we can keep them fit then we’ll be fine.
“As I’ve said, we need to move players out to get some players in. That’s the way that we work in here and that’s what we’re looking to do, but it’s difficult. The market we’re in to try and get quality players can be very expensive. It’s not a market that we shop in very often, but we need to offload some players to get those players that we all want to help this group keep moving forward.
“I’m pleased that other people can see what we set out to do – develop young players, and those people would like to have those players in their teams. Nothing would be done unless it was for the good of Tranmere, and I can assure that – but nothing is imminent.
“I understand that people will go home and say that we haven’t won a home game, and I understand that – but all I can say is that we are trying our best and I am trying my best to move this group forwards.”