Moore eyes a return to winning ways

Threat: James Wallace is likely to line-up against North End
Threat: James Wallace is likely to line-up against North End
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Ronnie Moore is staying positive as he tries to steer his Tranmere side back on to a winning path.

The Wirral club sit top of League One going into tomorrow’s visit of North End to Prenton Park.

A 12-game unbeaten league run carried them there, and this time last week they held a seven-point lead.

But defeats to Bournemouth and Doncaster over the last few days have seen that advantage whittled down to a single point.

Doncaster’s 2-1 victory on Tuesday night saw Iain Hume net an injury-time winner.

Experienced boss Moore, now in his third spell in charge of Rovers, is confident of bouncing back.

Moore said: “Losing matches is a hard lesson and we have to learn that we must stay tight once we get ourselves back into a game.

“Against Doncaster we were constantly on the attack but I’ve always said that when we’re attacking, we have to be defending too - alert to being caught.

“I said to our lads before Tuesday night’s game that good sides don’t lose two matches on the bounce.

“We are a good side and that has happened.

“So we have to put that right against Preston.

“The doubters will be having their say about us now but the same performance against Preston would be good - we just need a different result.

“I can’t criticise the players because I am as gutted as they are at losing to Doncaster.

“We gave a lot more than we got and if it had been a boxing match Doncaster would have packed up and gone home.”

Tranmere looked to have earned a point on Tuesday when teenager Jake Cassidy netted an 87th minute equaliser to cancel out Billy Paynter’s opener.

But then Hume, on loan at Donny from PNE, then struck right at the death.

Cassidy’s goal was his ninth of the season, with the Wolves loanee now Rovers’ top scorer.

Andy Robinson and John-Louis Akpa Akpro both have seven to their names.

Robinson returned to action in midweek after a hamstring strain, but Akpa Akpro is currently sidelined with a broken foot.

Tranmere brought in former PNE loan striker Jake Jervis from Birmingham last week to cover the loss of Akpa Akpro.

But after netting on his debut in the 3-1 defeat at Bournemouth, he suffered an ankle injury.

North End’s squad tomorrow will potentially include four ex-Rovers players.

John Welsh, David Buchanan, Shane Cansdell-Sherriff and Steve Simonsen have all pulled on the Tranmere shirt.

Rovers centre-back Ash Taylor predicts that will help add something to the atmosphere.

Taylor said: “Preston will be like a little derby game, with former players like John Welsh and David Buchanan in their team.

“The atmosphere should be brilliant.”

Tranmere will have James Wallace in their midfield.

Wallace was Graham Westley’s last signing as Stevenage boss, joining on loan from Everton in January.

But when Westley joined PNE, the loan was cancelled and the midfielder signed for Tranmere.