Tranmere Rovers boss Les Parry has insisted his players will be “up for it” when league leaders Norwich come to town on Friday night.
Despite their position in the League One relegation zone following the 3-0 defeat to Brighton at the weekend, Parry will be hoping it’s a Good Friday for the Merseysiders, especially with the Sky cameras in attendance.
Rovers may have slipped back into the bottom four last Saturday but former club physio Parry says the clash, to be broadcast live on satellite TV, will help his players put the disappointment aside.
“We are fortunate that we play Norwich next so the lads will be up for that,” he said, speaking to the Liverpool Daily Post. “We are live on the telly so the lads will be up for that.
“Both of those factors are going to help was this week. The lads really won’t need lifting – there will be something wrong if they do.”
City moved 11 points clear in the title race with a that crucial win over nearest rivals Leeds at Carrow Road last Saturday, but Tranmere dropped into 21st place after spending more than a month outside the drop-zone.
The general feeling around Prenton Park was that Rovers were moving onwards and upwards but their backs are really against the wall again, with a trip to promotion-chasing Swindon coming hard on the heels of Friday’s encounter with Norwich.
“We will be saying to the lads that the seven games after the Norwich and Swindon matches is when our season starts.
“Anything we can take from these next two games will make the task of gaining the points we need afterwards that much easier.”
But despite their descent back into the dreaded drop-zone, Parry insisted that Tranmere’s situation does not concern him in the slightest.
“Things are as we expected them to be when we sat down to assess our situation recently,” continued the likeable Birkenhead boy.
“The only thing that concerns me is if the players are concerned and I don’t think that is happening. No one has mentioned it. We all know how tight it is near the bottom of the table.”
“If we win our game in hand on most of the clubs around us, I think we jump to 17th. Looking back at the Brighton game the overall performance was not as bad as the result would suggest.”
Meanwhile, Rovers won’t take the risk of appealing against the weekend dismissal of new arrival Andy Robinson for fear of his three-match ban being extended, meaning the former Leeds man will definitely miss the Canaries clash.
Robinson was shown a red card 78 minutes into his League One debut for Tranmere on the south coast, following a tackle on Inigo Calderon, and Parry believes referee Paul Taylor’s decision was possibly a tad harsh.
But the Rovers chief suspects an FA disciplinary panel might consider such an appeal to be frivolous and increase the suspension to four games – something they can ill-afford to gamble on.
However, Parry is hopeful that striker and former City target Ian Thomas-Moore [knee] and midfielder Gareth Edds [illness] will be fit and available for Friday night after missing the trip to Brighton.