Tranmere Rovers look to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing result away at Gillingham, with a big game at Prenton Park against Newport County.
Rovers, who were unbeaten in 3 prior to their trip to Kent on Saturday afternoon, now host Newport County in Sky Bet League Two.
Wins against Stevenage and Crawley Town and a draw at Hartlepool seemed that things were on the up for Micky Mellon’s side, but what was described as a ‘disappointment’ last weekend ended this run.
The Whites come into the game sitting 13th in the league, and a win could take them up to 11th – however would leave them a minimum of 5 points from the play-off places if results go their way. This is a must-win for Tranmere as we approach the business end of the season.
Newport come into the game after a 1-1 draw on Tuesday night against AFC Wimbledon – and before this game came 2 draws against Grimsby Town and Bradford City.
Newport could still be dragged into a relegation battle – just 10 points above the drop zone, sitting 18th in the fourth tier of English Football. A win for them could just steer them away from the relegation places this season, going into Matchday 37.
Tranmere Rovers have faced County 32 times over the years, and since the first meeting back in 1959, the side from South Wales have won 13 times, versus Rovers 12 wins and 7 draws. The most recent was a 2-1 defeat for Micky Mellon’s side in August at Rodney Parade, but the most memorable for Tranmere fans was the 1-0 win at Wembley Stadium in 2019, when a 119th minute extra time goal from Connor Jennings was enough to fire Rovers into League One.
One To Watch: Omar Bogle
Omar Bogle is a 29-year old forward who has played the majority of his career in the Sky Bet Championship, and joined Newport County in 2022.
The striker, born in Sandwell, came through West Bromwich Albion’s youth academy, before moves to Birmingham City and then to Celtic to complete his Youth Career.
He was not given a professional deal at Celtic, and joined Hinckley United, in the Southern League, before being picked up by Solihull Moors in 2012.
He stayed at Moors for 3 ears, scoring 62 goals in 111 games and getting his move to Grimsby Town.
He scored just under 1 goal every 2 games on average in a Town shirt, scoring 32 in 68. He then got his move to Wigan Athletic, where he featured just 14 times that season, scoring 3, before making the move to Cardiff City.
The South Wales side started Bogle 21 times, where he scored 4, whilst also enjoying loan spells at Peterborough United, Birmingham City, Portsmouth and Dutch side, ADO Den Haag.
He made his move permanently to Charlton Athletic in 2020, scoring 2 that season, and moved to Doncaster Rovers, before a deal meaning he joined Hartlepool United for the rest of the 2021-22 season.
He joined Newport County in the summer of 2022, and has since scored 9 goals this season, in 34 games.
He has also played once for England ‘C’, in a game against Estonia in 2014, played at Halifax Town FC.
The Manager: Graham Coughlan
Newport County Manager, Graham Coughlan, took the job at Rodney Parade in October 2022.
Coughlan started his playing career in his hometown of Dublin for Cherry Orchard FC in his youth, before signing a deal at Bray Wanderers in 1994.
He made a permanent move to Blackburn Rovers, but failed to make a First Team appearance in his 4 years at the club – where he was on loan on two occasions, once at Swindon Town and once at Livingston.
His loan at Livingston was made permanent in 1999, where he scored 2 goals in 50 appearances from the centre-half position.
He later joined Plymouth Argyle in 2001, where he played 177 times – scoring 25 goals – where he was top goal scorer one season!
He was bought by Sheffield Wednesday in 2005 for an undisclosed fee, playing 51 times in 2 years, as well as enjoying a loan spell at Burnley.
He represented Rotherham United, Shrewsbury Town and Southend United towards the end of his career, taking his total playing appearances to 461 when he retired in 2013.
In 2018, he was appointed ‘Defensive Coach’ at Bristol Rovers – but was appointed Caretaker Manager after the departure of Darrell Clarke and Marcus Stewart in December 2018, and was appointed permanent boss in the January after gaining 10 points from a possible 15 – and kept Rovers up on the second to last day of the season.
The following season, he led Bristol Rovers to fourth place by December – before being allowed to speak to Mansfield Town after two previous approaches had been turned down by Bristol Rovers hierarchy.
He joined Mansfield Town in December 2019, and lasted just under a year after poor results at the beginning of the 2020-21 season in League Two.
He joined Sheffield United as an U23 Coach in 2019, before being appointed Manager of Newport County in October on a 2-and-a-half-year contract, where he has led the team to 31 points from a possible 75 in his time in South Wales.
In his managerial career, he has managed 108 fixtures – winning 36 and drawing 37 – meaning a win percentage of 33.33%.
Manager Micky Mellon confirmed that Tom Davies is back training and will be on contention for the fixture, Kane Hemmings is still in the gym but is looking to return to training next week.
Paul Lewis, Brad Walker and Kieron Morris are suffering longer term inuries.
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