Our latest guest post sees us very pleased to welcome Paul Harper, co-host of the Totally Tranmere podcast and the author of an eclectic blog. Here at TTU, we would admit to having covered the Prenton Park club less than we would like to have done in our three years of existence so to be able to call upon the services of Paul is something of a boon. Here, he looks at the remarkable progress the Wirral club has made since Ronnie Moore’s return…and they say, ‘never go back.’
Can one man turn around the fortunes of a football club single handedly? No, not really, but the impact that Ronnie Moore has made at Tranmere Rovers must come pretty close.
Moore returned for his third spell in charge at Prenton Park in March and since then, the club have seen a remarkable upturn in results which has seen them rise from the threat of relegation into mid-table comfort within a ten game period.
Before his arrival, Rovers were really struggling. Les Parry had guided the team to just one victory in 20 matches from the end of October until the final game of his tenure, a 1-0 defeat at Chesterfield.
That result at the B2net Stadium left Tranmere just one point and one place above the relegation zone. The players were visibly bereft of any confidence and the atmosphere among the supporters was that of huge frustration.
Overnight, that appeared to completely change. Moore’s appointment was greeted very favourably amongst the fans and from the first minute of his first game back at the helm, it appeared that he had instilled belief and confidence back into the players.
Ten matches down the line and Tranmere have picked up an astonishing 20 points from six wins, two draws and just two defeats which sees them mathematically safe and up as high as 11th in the League One standings.
It’s the same group of players, with the only addition being young Wolves striker Jake Cassidy on loan, who were on that poor run of results and were under-performing previously, but he’s managed to get the best out of them.
Really, he has picked up from where he left off from his last spell in charge of the Wirral club. He guided Rovers into 7th in League One, just minutes away from a play-off position, before unceremoniously receiving his P45.
In fact, Moore could be regarded as one of the unluckiest managers in football. In his last job at Rotherham United, he had led the Millers into a play-off position before being sacked with six games remaining.
This week, Moore was rewarded for the turnaround at Tranmere with a new one-year contract with the club. He knows the lower leagues very well and his experience should help Rovers to a better season next time around.
His record stands up for itself. He has enjoyed great success as a manager and was relieved of his duties on the last two occasions simply due to overly high expectations.
Tranmere have got a very good man in place. Let’s hope he is given the chance to see it through this time. Third time lucky?
Paul can be followed on Twitter at @paulharper82