By Josh Roberts
The run in for the National League 2017/18 season is well and truly under way for Tranmere Rovers as the games remaining for the Super Whites has hit single figures.
Just nine games are left of Rovers’ third consecutive season outside of the Football League and the consensus around the club is one of keeping that three-year stint away from League 2 at just that.
To do so, Tranmere must secure promotion this season. Even the most ardent members of the Super White Army will concede that the title is not an option leaving only the route up via the Play Off’s.
It’s a route that for all its highs for one club, it’s counteracted with the lows for another, something Rovers fans are all too familiar with.
So, with nine games of the regular season to go, will these matches define Tranmere Rovers’ season?
The short and simple answer is yes. Of course, they will, for better or for worse, these next fixtures are defining moments in the season, and should the prize of promotion be reached, they will go down as defining games in the history of the club.
For Rovers there is a nice mixture of games that can see them take points directly off promotion rivals such as the away fixtures to Boreham Wood and Dover Athletic as well as Aldershot at home.
Tranmere’s run in also consists of games where they will be expected to take maximum points off teams lower down in the division such as Gateshead, Solihull Moors, Hartlepool and Eastleigh at home and Halifax Town and the big derby against Chester away from Prenton Park.
When broken down, despite the tough long journeys to fellow play-off rivals, it presents Tranmere with the proverbial six pointers they simply must take advantage of to finish in either second or third.
The games against those fighting to stay up should allow Micky Mellon the opportunity to rotate his squad and give game time to those returning from injury or on the outskirts of the squad like James Wallace, Jeff Hughes and Andy Mangan.
Mellon must be mindful of not taking his foot off the gas and underestimating opponents as Tranmere need to see nine wins out of nine in this run in.