Tranmere Rovers boss Les Parry insists that his team are 'not intimidated' by the thought of a visit to table topping Charlton at The Valley tomorrow. He says that Charlton will be expecting a difficult game and the visitors from The Wirral will give them one: http://www.wirralnews.co.uk/tranmere-rovers-fc/tranmere-rovers-fc-news/2011/10/07/tranmere-rovers-fc-defender-ash-taylor-to-skipper-team-against-charlton-athletic-80491-29554426/
I had a quick look at the new Museum of Liverpool when I was up there on Monday (principally to see the Magritte exhibition) and although it celebrated the three teams on Merseyside (as well as more obscure facts such as Liverpool's involvement in baseball) the focus was understandably on Liverpool and Everton.
This is Tranmere's 11th consecutive season in League One, hopefully a fate we will avoid. Physio Les Parry took charge after the sacking of John Barnes in 2009 and he has done well on a modest budget. A sequence of eight wins in 16 matches either side of Christmas last season was enough to save them from relegation. However, back-to-back relegation battles have had an effect on attendances.
The Super Whites also achieved the distinction last season of being the team in the division that rescued fewer points from a losing position, suggesting the importance of an early goal at The Valley. The fan file comments in Four Four Two are a bit underwhelming, describing them as 'OK, with a few decent players.'
Prominent among those is leading scorer last season Enoch Showunmi. The powerfully built 29-year is hardly balletic in his execution, but he can out muscle just about anyone at this level and found the net 11 times last season which hardly makes him a Bradley Wright-Phillips. However, the Nigerian is in the running for the League One North-West Player of the Year Award.
Over the summer Tranmere signed Brazilian forward Vincius Dantas from Azuza Pacific, a US college side. However, forward Dale Jennings joined Bayern Munich for a fee rising to £1.8m.
Four Four Two forecast Tranmere being relegated. The Times put them at 17th. Tranmere surprised everyone with a storming start to the season, but they have faltered in their last six outings. They are currenty 12th in the table, but have won more games away than they have lost.
I regard Wednesday's defeat by Brentford as largely an irrelevance and I expect a full strength Charlton side to bounce back and take all three points. I know we are going to lose sometime, but I don't think it will be against Tranmere tomorrow and I am going for a comfortable 2-0 win for the Addicks.
Life seems to be a round of retirement and landmark birthday celebrations at the moment and an old Burnley-supporting friend is having his 65th birthday party tomorrow, so I won't be able to make it to The Valley.