By George Williamson
Tranmere Rovers boss Micky Mellon says his side has taken a lot of the criticism they’ve received this year on the chin but are aiming to bounce back from the disappointing league position in a big way over the Christmas period.
He said: “We’re disappointed that we’re not higher (in the table).
“We have to say that with a club our size that’s the expectation, we want to be in and amongst the front runners.
“That hasn’t happened so we’ve taken that on the chin with the criticism that has quite rightly come our way because we have the quality of players that we have we should be up there among it.
“I absolutely know why that hasn’t happened so we’re very calm about that because when we did start to take our chances that we created (against Torquay) that we are going to win more games.
“You’re expected to win every game at Tranmere though we don’t focus on anyone game more than another.
“We know we are judged on getting results but we have been disappointed with were we are in the league.
“We’re fighting back and trying to claw that back again every game and we’re working hard on the training pitch to give ourselves the best opportunity to do that.”
Despite Mellon’s obvious disappointment at Rovers’ start to the season, they are still only four points adrift of the play-off places, and although Rovers’ pre-season target was much loftier, they remain well placed for a post-season run.
He said: “We’ve got a game in hand so that’s always there.
“We just need to keep winning, try to win games, try to keep clean sheets, keep our standards really high.
“We’re keeping fit and making sure we’re organised and we’ll keep battling away.
“We know we have to be up there amongst the challenging teams because of the size of the club, we’ve never hidden away from that, so we just need to continue to try and get ourselves into a position to do that.”
Mellon has always preached the ‘one game at a time’ mentality, and has maintained that throughout the first half of the season, although this can prove challenging when cup games come around like Rovers’ game against Solihull in the FA Trophy this weekend.
The Rovers boss admitted he’d probably rather focus on the league given his side’s current purple patch.
He said: “We would probably prefer the league game but, listen, this is Tranmere, you’ll be expected to go down to Solihull and perform well and win.
“We will take every game as it comes because you’ve got to, that’s the standards that are here and expectations that are on us.
“We’ll go there, we’ll be well prepared and expect the lads to play well and fight hard to try and get another win.”
The ‘one game at a time’ mentality is one adopted by many managers at this level and beyond, and it’s a strategy that Mellon is showing no signs of abandoning as his side enter a busy festive period.
He said: “I’ll just enjoy the win, that’s my first target, and enjoy that.
“Then tomorrow I’ll watch some great football on the TV and enjoy that. Then wish my days away and enjoy every day as it comes and get the most out of it.”