|The View From The Other Side - Tranmere Vs U's|
Fri 31st Aug 2012 10:30 by Daniel
Mike Jackson from Total Tranmere answers our questions ahead of the U's visit to Prenton Park.
How long have you supported Tranmere Rovers?
I went to my first game at the age of 9 (I'm 32 now so work that one out) but with living some distance away from Prenton Park in North Wales it was only when I finished University in 2001 and was able to get to games myself without relying on lifts/public transport that I started going regularly and got a season ticket. I guess I'm making up for that now having missed just a handful of games home and away in the past five years or so!
What are your memorable moments and games between the U's and Tranmere?
The first thing that springs to mind when you mention Colchester United is our first ever visit to your new Ground in January 2009 when the game was called off at 1.30pm despite no early signs on arrival of anything being amiss. Add to that the fact that I then made the return trip on a Tuesday night to see us win 1-0 and then drove all the way home the same night and went to work the next (same) day and that is definitely a memorable moment. Other than that we have had little luck at your new ground and nothing too memorable at Prenton Park as far as I can recall. I did also make what I think was our last ever visit to Layer Road as well.
How has your team changed since we last played each other? (Last game 28th April 2012 - the U's won 4-2)
Seven of those that started the game for us in April are still with us now although the one who Colchester fans will remember the most from that game will not take part due to injury (that player being Ian Goodison who tangled a few times with Odejayi and then scored an own goal as well!).
Our rookie goalkeeper that day was released and joined Wrexham this summer with the game against Colchester being his only first team appearance for us. Others that left include Lucas Akins to Stevenage, John Welsh to Preston and Mustafa Tiryaki to a Turkish side.
All that means that we actually look a better team all round this season so far, sharper, better at passing the ball and creating chances. We've certainly deserved every result achieved so far this season (including the 3-0 defeat at Villa in midweek where we just couldn't get into the game).
What are your expectations this season?
Prior to pre-season I'd have settled for a top half finish this season having only missed out by one place to the U's last season after you beat us. However having seen the signings made I’d like to think a play-off place (at the very best) is something we can at least aim for. A lot depends on injuries during the season as I'm not convinced our squad is deep enough on its own to cover certain losses of personnel.
Who is your danger man?
The main man this season is Andy Robinson. He's fitter for us than he has been before and his hat-trick against Carlisle two weeks ago was absolutely brilliant. James Wallace is another key player but Robbo is the one to watch.
What do you know about our team?
I have to admit I don't know a lot about Colchester United at all. They used to play at Layer Road and some of their more widely known managers in the past include George Burley, Paul Lambert and Phil Parkinson. That's about it really without doing lots of research.
What's your prediction for the game?
Our home record under Ronnie Moore (in both spells as Manager) is really good and with our start to the season I'd like to think we could win this one so I'll go for 2-1 Tranmere with Akpa Akpro and Wallace scoring for us and Wordsworth for the U's because he always seems to score against us!
Finally, one of your games was postponed due to safety concerns with one of the stands last season, which is generally unheard of these days. Has this all be resolved?
Our stand is far from modern sadly. It was built in the 1960's, was one of the first stands of its kind and other clubs including Swindon and Wrexham have followed suit since in terms of design. It costs the club a lot of money per season to maintain and is always prone to weather damage whether it be wind damage of flooding (in the case of last Boxing Day it was wind damage).
The stand remained closed for the rest of the season but has been patched up and re-opened for the new season with season tickets once again being sold in that area of the ground so all appears to be well!
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