Mellon: Tranmere are raring to go

Micky Mellon is determined to “leave no stone unturned” in Tranmere’s search for National League promotion.

Rovers take on Aldershot tonight in the first leg of their play-off semi-final.

They head to the Recreation Ground with a well rested squad after the entire first team was given Saturday off, allowing a young side to beat Maidstone 1-0.

As good as that may sound, injuries still have to be taken into consideration, with the likes of Ben Tollitt, Jay Harris and Lee Vaughan all missing.

But Mellon is confident his side has what it takes to get a positive result in Hampshire.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” he said.

“They’re all rested and raring to go. We’re ready.

“Aldershot will find it difficult against us. We’ve got a good team.

“We’ll concentrate on us and make sure we deliver in what we do.

“We’ll be prepared and we know what’s at stake. They’re all ready and good to go.”

Going through the play-offs is, of course, second best.

Rovers were runners up in the National League this year, despite accumulating a club record 95 points – 15 more than the tally achieved by Ray Mathias in 2002/03.

That year, Tranmere just missed out on a spot in the League One play-offs to Cardiff City.

A lot has changed since then, with the club twice relegated and surviving a couple of close shaves. Rarely have they been in the promotion shake up.

The tides are now turning though. Arguably no team has looked more threatening than the Super Whites over the last few months, prowling behind Lincoln and falling just four points short.

If Mellon had arrived at Prenton Park earlier (his first game was in early October), perhaps the tables would have been turned?

And although finishing second does not sit particularly comfortably with the manager, he knows the potential prize is just as great.

“I’m disappointed, because I want to win everything,” he added.

“I’m a big kid. I want to win at tiddlywinks!

“We fell a bit short but now we go onto the next best thing, the play-offs. I love them, I want to operate in them.

“It’s where you’ll find out a lot about yourself as a manager and coaching staff. It’ll be exciting and there’ll be good crowds at both games.

“We might have to change formation because of injury to Lee Vaughan.

“We’ll decide what’s the best way that we want to go.

“We’ve been going well with back three, so if we believe that’s the way we want to go, we will.

“But we’ve been working hard all week on different scenarios, so we’ll get it right and get ready to roll.”

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