MICKY MELLON: “We’re starting to get the injured players back again which is important.”

By George Williamson

Micky Mellon has given an update on player availability after his side dismantled Torquay United 3-0 on Saturday.

Rovers have been without a number of key starters for long periods this season, but there is finally light at the end of the tunnel for a few of the crocked stars.

Mellon said: “(Liam Ridehalgh) has just got a sore ankle, he’ll train next week.

“He’ll be back next week and boost the strength of the squad.

“We had Jeff (Hughes) who was probably too early to start today come back, you have Jay Harris coming back from both injury and suspension, we’ll have Ridehalgh back, so our numbers are boosted again.

“Obviously we’ve got the long term injured but they’re moving closer to be available as well.

“We’ll try and get the numbers and game changers available as soon as we can.

“We’re starting to get the injured players back again which is important.”

Mellon also went in depth on Jake Kirby’s injury situation as he edges closer to a return to contention.

He said: “He’s played half a game so that was important he got through that, we were on egg shells hoping he’d get through that but he did.

Dylan Mottley-Henry vs Torquay

Dylan Mottley-Henry carves through the Torquay defence again during the 3-0 win

“He’s a very fit lad, so he’s got through that and just step that up now.

“He just needs to get training days under his belt which he’s getting.

“There’s no real threat from the injury now, it’s just about trying to get him high tempo training and keep pushing his fitness levels and eventually when we believe it’s the right time we’ll get him back but he’s close.”

With so many injuries impacting the line-up this season, Mellon hasn’t had much scope to tinker with the starting eleven, but with Evan Gumbs being recalled from a loan spell at Warrington Town, Mellon had to make a big call choosing between him and the veteran captain Steve McNulty.

On the decision to start McNulty, Mellon said: “Like I say all the time, I have to make difficult decisions I believe are right for Tranmere and I always will do that.

“I will take the emotion out of that, it was very difficult today because he was brilliant and we love Evan but McNulty is my captain, my leader and for giving Tranmere the best opportunity to win a game I thought that was the right decision to make.

“I have to make decisions but it will always be, it won’t be reckless, it will the decision I believe will give us the best chance at winning the game of football and I’ll stand by that decision.

“I’ll have some tough decisions to make because we’ve got good players here but that’s just something managers have to do but all the time it will be about Tranmere.

“We spoke with Evan, he understood my reasons and he understood that’s a difficult decision for me.”

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