Tranmere Rovers manager Micky Mellon heaped praise on Eddie Clark and Evan Gumbs as the two impressed in Rovers’ 4-0 victory against Maidstone United at the weekend.
18-year old Clarke made his second successive start for the club at the weekend, and has performed admirably since being introduced to the first team squad in the absence of Liam Ridehalgh and Mitch Duggan.
Rovers have been hamstrung for quite some time now in terms of injured personnel, but one positive that has come out of all of the disappointment has been the performances of the younger players in the recent matches.
The first goal from Tranmere’s 4-0 win was created by Clarke as he darted down the left flank before whipping in a cross that was met by James Norwood who flicked it past Lee Worgan in the Maidstone goal.
For someone of very little experience at this level, Clarke has played out two performances of the very highest quality and deservedly picked up the fans’ Man of the Match award in our Twitter poll, becoming the first player to pick it up in two consecutive matches.
📊 | Who was your man of the match in today’s 4 – 0 win over Maidstone?
— Tranmere Talk (@TranmereTalk) November 25, 2017 When asked about the recent performances of Clarke and Gumbs, Micky Mellon was quick to stress how good it has been to see the youngsters play so well.
He said: “It is great to see so many young players coming through the youth ranks here, and to give them an opportunity,”
The manager has also been impressed with the impact that his two latest loan signings have made, and was especially impressed with the performance of Ollie Banks against Maidstone.
“Banks is sublime isn’t he, I mean he’s a real pleasing player to come and watch but I don’t really want to go through any of them as individuals I think they were all superb.”
Considering the amount of injury casualties that are at the club at this time, their returns to the fold in the coming weeks and months are likely to incur a headache for the manager given the fight there will be for first-team places.
Jay McEveley has come under quite a lot of criticism lately, particularly after his poor performance against Peterborough United in the FA Cup and it looks likely that he will have to impress the manager in training if he is to return to the side.
Evan Gumbs performed exceptionally well against Maidstone alongside Ritchie Sutton and it appears that his loan spell away with Warrington Town may well have kick started his first team career with Rovers.
When asked about the mix of youth, and bringing loan players in, Mellon had this to say in his post-match press conference:
“We don’t go out and try to get loan players if we’ve got a youngster there that we believe do what young Ev (Gumbs) and young Eddie (Clarke) did today and we’ll put in and we’ll play them.”
Tranmere return to action in two weeks time where they will face Torquay United, and the manager set out his plans for how he wants his team to continue to perform on the pitch and during training:
“Just got to keep going, keep working hard, play like that today and forget tactics, think about running around and working hard and then when the jobs come along, do them, Wherever you are on the pitch, do your job both with and without the ball, graft hard, fight hard to win and you’ll get results like we did today.”