Tranmere are searching for their first win at Prenton Park this season after three home defeats so far. Les Parry has been left scratching his head in a bid to try and find that winning solution.
“There’s no place like home” used to be a motto at Prenton Park. Tranmere have nearly always enjoyed a good home record, it’s away from home they usually struggle to pick up good results.
But during this campaign, Parry has found the travel sickness tablets at the back of the cabinet, and it’s certainly done the trick.
A trip to Walsall saw Rovers come away with a 1-0 victory in the first round of the Carling Cup before they put in a really good display to pick up a point in a league fixture at Huddersfield.
The difference between home and away form has always been a strange one to figure out. After all, the ball is still round, the grass is still green and the goalposts are the same size. Why should it be that a team are like chalk and cheese depending on whether they’re home or away?
In Tranmere’s case this season, one thing I would put my finger on is the atmosphere inside the ground. The club have decided to close the top tier of the biggest stand (the Bebington Kop behind the goal) to make it easier to police.
It makes sense in that the capacity of Prenton Park is nearly 17,000, but only 5,000 or so come through the gates on a matchday. However, the sound from the noisiest section of the ground seems have been lost somewhat.
It seems to fade away into the Birkenhead air and the full effect of the home support appears to have diminished a little. There’s also a lack of patience and a harsh nature of criticising the players whenever they make even the smallest mistake that may play on their minds before they step out.
No matter what is said about football being played by the eleven players on the pitch, supporters can make a difference and become that 12th man.
A full support of the team from the stands gives the players a boost. They will run that extra yard, make that extra tackle and feed off the extra energy generated by the crowd. Hopefully we can find that again at Prenton Park, and the players can turn things around at home.
The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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