Tranmere Rovers - Who needs a lemon when we've got Mellon!

Warringtini

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Former Tranmere Rovers player Micky Mellon has been appointed as the club's new manager after leaving League One Shrewsbury Town.


As a player, midfielder Mellon had two spells at Prenton Park. Either side of a two-year stint with Burnley, he made 205 appearances and scored 10 goals for Rovers and was a popular figure amongst the Tranmere faithful. As a manager, the Scotsman has had a great deal of success since taking his first role back in September 2008 with Fleetwood Town.

He took over with the side sat at the bottom of the Conference North and lifted them to 8th in his first season before leading them to promotion via the play-offs the following year. In 2010-11, Mellon then took Fleetwood to the Conference play-offs, losing out to AFC Wimbledon, before helping them to the title and into the Football League for the first time the following season with 103 points.

After leaving Fleetwood with the Cod Army in 4th position in League Two, Mellon spent 18 months working as assistant to David Flitcroft in the Championship at Barnsley before taking over at Shrewsbury Town at the start of the 2014-15 campaign where he guided them to promotion back into League One.

Tranmere Chairman Mark Palios said: “I am delighted to bring Micky back to Tranmere Rovers for a third time. His track record speaks for itself. He already has a number of promotions to his name and we are confident he will add to that record once more at Prenton Park. We are especially pleased to bring in a manager currently managing in League 1 and who sees the potential in the Club."

Mellon, who has previously managed Fleetwood to the National League title, takes over from former manager Gary Brabin, who was sacked at the end of the 2015/16 season following Tranmere's failure to make the national league playoffs.
 
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The appointment of Micky Mellon as Tranmere boss has triggered an influx of staff members, with 5 former players rejoining the club.

Coming with Micky from Shrewsbury are Mike Jackson and Danny Coyne, who have been named as assistant manager and goalkeeping coach respectively. Jackson made 84 appearances over 2 years at the club back in 2004 and has been Mellon's assistant since the Scot joined Shrewsbury. Coyne also had two spells at Tranmere, making over 200 appearances between the sticks at Prenton Park.

Also returning to the club are former right back Robbie Stockdale and former striker Simon Haworth. Stockdale rejoins the club as a scout having previously worked at Sunderland and Haworth joins in a coaching role.

Perhaps the most shocking of all is the return of former manager John Aldridge. Aldridge was manager back in the early 2000's, leading Tranmere to the Worthington cup final against Leicester at Wembley, alongside many other impressive cup runs. Aldrige rejoins the club as the new Director of Football.
 
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Micky Mellon says he is delighted to be back at Prenton Park after being announced as the Club's new manager earlier this week.

Mellon had two previous spells at the Club as a player and says that affection he built during that time helped him make the decision to return to Wirral.

He said: "It's great to be back at a Club that I have so much affection for. There are still a lot of familiar faces here. A lot of things have changed, but it is still a fantastic football club. The most important thing to do is to win the next game."

"I never looked at this as dropping down. To come to a Club that I have such high regard for is the exciting part for me. A lot of ex-players have been contacting me all saying 'get in there and win games' because they also have so much affection for the Club. I have a great affection for the Club and I want to win games here."
 
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Tranmere chairman Mark Palios says he doesn’t have to set new manager Micky Mellon specific targets because the expectations of his role are obvious.

Founder members of Division Three North, Tranmere finally surrendered their Football League status after 94 years in 2015 and after finishing just outside the play-offs last season, Gary Brabin, the man originally tasked with getting Rovers out of the National League was sacked last month.

Asked if Mellon, who rejoined the club after two spells as a player, had been told he had to deliver promotion, Palios said:

“I don’t set specific targets like that and people might find that strange. It’s fairly obvious – we have to get promoted and should get promoted. When you set targets you don’t set them blindly. It’s not black and white, if you don’t achieve the target then you go again. There’s a target there that needs to be hit and if there’s a reason as to why we didn’t achieve it and it’s justifiable then you take a view. The target for us is promotion and always has been.”

While Palios is obviously determined to win back a place in the Football League as quickly as possible, he is also building an infrastructure at Prenton Park for the club to flourish in whatever the vagaries of results on the pitch.

He said: “If we don’t win promotion this year we go again next year and that’s the purpose of building the club off the field. We can go again year in, year out, and that’s where the benefits are seen. People complain that we’re not investing in the team, we’re investing off the pitch, but that’s just plain wrong. They’re not mutually exclusive, we’re doing both. The point is if we just invested in the short-term on the pitch I’m not sure you’d get back on your investment, pound for pound. We’ve got a good squad of players and I believe we’ve got a good manager.”
 
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Mike Jackson says he is delighted to be back at the Club and teaming up again with Micky Mellon in the dugout.

The duo spent more than two years working together successfully at Shrewsbury Town, and Jackson says that their knowledge of the Club and passion should be useful.

He told Tranmere PlayerHD: "There's no magic wand for someone to come in and just get straight to promotion, but Micky has a passion and cares about what he does and I have noticed that all the staff here are the same and really keen to do well. I think it does help with us being ex-players here. But you look around the youth set-up and the coaches are mostly former players and it's much more than just a job here.

"We know the expectations, the fanbase so we know what we're coming into. You can achieve a **** of a lot through mentality alone and that can build confidence and that's something we will be working on."

Jackson says that the squad can also feed off the passion of the Super White Army. Having sat and watched the Tranmere from the stands during the 2015/16 season, Jackson says the players can feed off the energy of the supporters.

"I was here for the Wrexham game last season and there was a great atmosphere. Every time we got into the final third they (the fans) were up, and they're passionate supporters here and they know their football. We have to use those fans to our advantage."
 
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Portsmouth's winger Ben Tollitt has today joined Tranmere for the rest of the season on loan.

Tollitt began his career at Everton but was released without making an appearance at Goodison Park. From there, he moved to Widnes where he scored 18 goals in 43 games. After a brief stint at Skelmersdale in 2014, Tollitt signed a one year deal at Fratton Park.

Tollitt made his first Portsmouth appearance in an EFL cup home win against Derby County and scored his first goal in a League Two game against York in November.

Tranmere manager Micky Mellon spoke of his delight at acquiring the services of Tollitt.

"I'm delighted to have Ben here at the club. Ben is someone who has been on my radar for a while after seeing his performances for Portsmouth last season. He's a local lad having started his career at Everton and he's raring to go out and impress."
 
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Tranmere Rovers are delighted to announce that West Brom defender Jack Fitzwater has signed a deal to join the Club until the end of the season on loan.

Fitzwater is a product of the West Bromwich Albion academy and was named academy player of the year for the 2014–15 season. He is still yet to make a senior appearance for the Baggies.

Manager Micky Mellon said of the signing: "Jack is the type of player we’ve been looking for. He is someone we have kept a close eye and I’m delighted that we are able to bring him into the Club for the season.

"He will provide competition for places in the defensive area and is hungry to do well to help us achieve our goal this season of promotion. He is a strong lad, a hard worker and I’m sure he will do well for us during his time here. I’d like to thank Tony Pulis and West Brom for allowing him to join us."
 
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Tranmere have today announced three new signings, with all three players arriving on a free transfer

The three men who have arrived at Prenton Park are midfielder Taylor Tombides and defenders Frazer Shaw and Afolabi Coker and they were unveiled today in the Belmont Suite at Tranmere's Prenton Park ground alongside a visibly happy Micky Mellon.

The first signing is Afolabi Coker. Coker (pictured) is a 19 year old centre back who is yet to make a senior career appearance having previously been on the books of Leeds (where he started his career) and Norwich.

Frazer Shaw is a 21 year old left back who began his career at West Ham before earning himself a move to Leyton Orient last season (following spells at Billericay and Dulwich Hamlet. Shaw played 25 games in League Two for Orient before being released in the summer.

The final signing sees Australian Taylor Tombides join the club. The 20 year old began his career at West Ham alongside his brother Dylan, who tragically died of cancer in 2014. After leaving West Ham, the midfielder had a season with Hull before moving on to Canvey Island, where he made 11 appearances.
 
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Tranmere boss Micky Mellon has spoken of his excitement ahead of the new National League season.

The game away at Bromley will be Micky's first game in charge of Tranmere following his move from Shrewsbury over the summer, with many pundits tipping Tranmere for automatic promotion to League Two.

Speaking to a packed press conference ahead of the game at Hayes Lane, Mellon said:

"I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve right now. I can't wait to get the season up and running. Being back at Tranmere feels really special and I'm sure it will be even more special when 3 o'clock comes around tomorrow afternoon."

"We have put a lot of preparation in during preseason so we need to make sure that we go to Bromley and put on a good performance. The players and I are aware that we are being tipped for promotion and it's up to us to not let it go to our heads. We know what we need to do and that's go out and win football matches."
 
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Micky Mellon started his Tranmere reign with an easy win, as a James Norwood brace, gave his side a 2-1 at Bromley.

[video=youtube;bmeun_nb7Rw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmeun_nb7Rw[/video]



Bromley: Julian, Holland, Swaine, Chorley, Anderson, Turgott, Dymond, Porter (Minshull 22), Martin (Higgs 87), Cunnington, Sho-Silva (Goldberg 57).
Subs Not Used: Bogard, Dennis.

Booked: Anderson, Dymond.

Off: Dymond.

Tranmere: Turner, Vaughan (Sutton 89), McNulty, Fitzwater, Ridehalgh, S Jennings, Maynard, Mekki (Tollitt 89), Hughes, Cook, Norwood.
Subs Not Used: Davies, C Jennings, Ihiekwe.

Booked: Vaughan, Ridehalgh, S Jennings, Mekki.



Referee: R Whitton
Stadium: Hayes Lane
Attendance: 1,869 (522 away)
Possession: Bromley 48% - 52% Tranmere
Shots: Bromley 11 - 8 Tranmere
On Target: Bromley 4 - 5 Tranmere
Fouls: Bromley 16 - 15 Tranmere
 
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Former Reading midfielder Lewis Collins has joined Tranmere on a free transfer following his release from the Championship in the summer.

19 year old Northern Irish midfielder Lewis Collins has yet to make a senior career appearance as of yet. Collins came through the youth ranks at Grimsby before signing a contract with Reading at the age of 16. The young midfielder had a stint as under 18s captain at Reading but was released in May.

Collins spoke of his desire to learn from Rovers captain Steve Jennings after finalising his move to Prenton Park.

"I'm really looking forward to getting started here at Tranmere. Everyone knows that Tranmere are a great club who should be in the football league and I'm excited to help make that happen in anyway I can. Being able to play alongside and learn from a midfielder like Steve Jennings is a real blessing and I'll definitely be asking for advice from him."
 
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Tranmere followed up their opening day win at Bromley with another win, beating Barrow by four goals to one at Prenton Park.

[video=youtube;tBSftEVbfJs]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBSftEVbfJs[/video]



Tranmere: Turner, Vaughan, McNulty (Coker 89), Fitzwater, Shaw (Ridehalgh 62), Mekki, Maynard (Tollitt 79), S Jennings, J Hughes, Cook, Norwood.
Subs Not Used: Davies, C Jennings.

Booked: Vaughan.

Barrow: Coughlin, Watkins, Smith, Livesey (Murray 56), Anderton, Pinau (Haworth 45), Parry (Turnbull 56), L Hughes, Williams, Panayiotou, Harrison.
Subs Not Used: Meikle, Hannah.



Referee: M Robinson.
Stadium: Prenton Park.
Attendance: 4,994 (154 away).
Possession: Tranmere 54% - 46% Barrow
Shots: Tranmere 13 - 14 Barrow
On Target: Tranmere 6 - 4 Barrow
Fouls: Tranmere 19 - 6 Barrow
 
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Andy Cook scored twice for Tranmere as the home side's first half blitz blew away Eastleigh at Prenton Park.

[video=youtube;5Ms7hSYJdQM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ms7hSYJdQM[/video]



Tranmere: Davies, Sutton, Coker, Ihiekwe, Shaw (Ridehalgh 89), Tombides (Tollitt 77), Collins, Harris, Hughes (Almond 65), Cook, Norwood.
Subs Not Used: Turner, McNulty.

Booked: Collins, Harris.

Eastleigh: Huddart, Barry, Cresswell (Partington 56), Johnson, Cockerill-Mollett, Coulson (Essam 56), Muldoon, Drury, Howells (Dawson 56), Bird, Mandron.
Subs Not Used: Clarke, Constable.

Booked: Partington, Muldoon.



Referee: M Coy.
Stadium: Prenton Park.
Attendance: 5,590 (199 away).
Possession: Tranmere 48% - 52% Eastleigh
Shots: Tranmere 11 - 18 Eastleigh
On Target: Tranmere 8 - 7 Eastleigh
Fouls: Tranmere 14 - 11 Eastleigh
 
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Tranmere boss Micky Mellon has hailed his side's squad depth, after seeing a much changed side beat Eastleigh by five goals to one at Prenton Park.

From the side that started the win against Barrow, only four players retained a starting place going into the game with Eastleigh, James Norwood, Andy Cook, Frazer Shaw and Jeff Hughes being the men retained in the starting line up. Tranmere went on to win the game 5-1 with three of the four finding the target.

Mellon was understandably happy with his squad players after the game:

"Absolutely fantastic! What more can I say? To make seven changes to the starting eleven and still come away with a result like that really shows that we have excellent strength in depth here at Tranmere. The depth of the squad was something I marked for improvement when I joined here so to see this result makes me over the moon."
 
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Tranmere Rovers have been hit with a blow after the news that centre back Steve McNulty has picked up an injury.

Giant centre back McNulty pulled up in training holding his back and scans have revealed that the former Luton man has a back strain. Current estimates suggest that McNulty will miss atleast a month of action.

Tranmere manager Micky Mellon spoke of his disappointment but insisted that his side could coipe with McNulty's absence.

"Obviously losing Steve is exactly what we didn't want. However, I believe that we have more than enough talent in the squad to cope. We have have Jack (Fitzwater), Michael (Ihiekwe), Ritchie (Sutton) and Afolabi (Coker) who can all play centre back so I think we should be fine."
 
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Tranmere made it 4 wins out of 4 in the 2016/17 season with a 2-1 win away at Boreham Wood.

[video=youtube;7XB_Jvkngps]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XB_Jvkngps[/video]



Boreham Wood: Tupper, Ricketts, Devera, Paine, Ilesanmi, Davis (Harris 57), Kuhl, Andrade, Moke, Balanta (Jeffrey 62), Elford-Alliyu (Ferrier 62).
Subs Not Used: Holden, Smith.

Booked: Ricketts, Ilesanmi, Kuhl, Harris, Paine.

Tranmere: Turner, Vaughan (Ihiekwe 86), Fitzwater, Coker, Shaw (Ridehalgh 43), Mekki, Maynard, S Jennings, Hughes, Cook (C Jennings 55), Norwood.
Subs Not Used: Davies, Tombides.

Booked: Maynard, S Jennings, Norwood, Vaughan, Ridehalgh.



Referee: C Evans.
Stadium: Meadow Park.
Attendance: 707 (364 away).
Possession: Boreham Wood 50% - 50% Tranmere
Shots: Boreham Wood 7 - 11 Tranmere
On Target: Boreham Wood 3 - 6 Tranmere
Fouls: Boreham Wood 17 - 16 Tranmere
 
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Tranmere have been hit with the news that Jeff Hughes will miss the next 6 weeks with an ankle injury.

Hughes was seen to be limping towards the latter stages of Tranmere's 2-1 win away at Boreham Wood and scans have revealed that the midfielder has suffered a twisted ankle.

The former Cambridge man has been in great form so far this season, scoring 4 goals in as many games, following his permanent move from Cambridge over the summer.

Whilst disappointed, Hughes told Tranmere Player that he would be back a better player.

"I'm really disappointed to pick up an injury now. I really feel like I've been playing well and finally getting the fans on my side. All I can do now is focus on my recovery and make sure that I come back stronger and fitter than ever."
 
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Tranmere striker Andy Cook scored twice for the home side, as Tranmere beat Maidstone by 3 goals to 0 at Prenton Park.

[video=youtube;-6PXNH_yLQw]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6PXNH_yLQw[/video]




Tranmere: Turner (Davies 42), Vaughan, Fitzwater, Coker, Ridehalgh, Tombides, Maynard, S Jennings, Mekki (C Jennings 33), Norwood, Cook.
Subs Not Used: Sutton, Collins, Ihiekwe.

Booked: C Jennings.

Maidstone: Larkins, Driver, Lokko, Omar, Mavilla (Acheampong 61), Rogers, Paxman, Harris (Evans 67), Odubade, Taylor (Dumaka 45), Greenhalgh.
Subs Not Used: Worgan, Sweeney.



Referee: C Hicks
Stadium: Prenton Park
Attendance: 5,723 (262 away)
Possession: Tranmere 53% - 47% Maidstone
Shots: Tranmere 11 - 4 Maidstone
On Target: Tranmere 5 - 4 Maidstone
Fouls: Tranmere 7 - 5 Maidstone
 
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Tranmere Rovers captain Steve Jennings has spoken of his desperation to win when Tranmere travel to Southport on Saturday.

Tranmere captain Steve Jennings told a packed press conference about how he is treating the Southport game like his Merseyside derby.

"This is one of six derby matches for us really. With having Chester, Wrexham and Southport in our league who are so close, we can have 6 derbies a season pretty much. I'm a Liverpool lad so Southport is the one for me though. This is my Liverpool vs Everton. I'm desperate to win this match."

"We should have won at Southport last year really but a poor first half performance cost us. I'm determined to put that right and give the fans something to cheer about on Saturday."
 
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It was Tranmere who took the spoils in the lower league Merseyside derby, winning 2-0 at Haig Avenue.

[video=youtube;T0iv2JVf6_s]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0iv2JVf6_s[/video]



Southport: Belford, Jones, Nolan, Sheron, Moseley, Weeks (White 67), Lussey (Kearns 78), Gray (Grimes 63), Webb, Caton, Cofie.
Subs Not Used: Crump, Whittle.

Booked: Sheron.

Tranmere: Turner, Vaughan, Fitzwater (Ihiekwe 88), Coker, Shaw, Tombides, Maynard (Collins 88), S Jennings, Mekki, Cook (C Jennings 67), Norwood.
Subs Not Used: Davies, Ridehalgh.



Referee: M Thompson.
Stadium: Haig Avenue.
Attendance: 2,005 (940 away).
Possession: Southport 47% - 53% Tranmere
Shots: Southport 9 - 15 Tranmere
On Target: Southport 1 - 9 Tranmere
Fouls: Southport 13 - 17 Tranmere
 
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