As we enter the final furlong of the season, our promotion rivals Tranmere Rovers have suffered a double injury blow.
Influential midfielder Ben Tollitt has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Tollitt, who signed this season from Portsmouth, has been the stand out player for the so-called Super White Army, but the knee injury looks set to rule him out of the promotion run in.
“Ben has a knee injury, and we are thinking he might need an operation very soon. He has been for a scan and saw the specialist and we’ll get the full extent of the injury, but at the minute it’s not looking good.” Said Micky Mellon, “It’s a huge disappointment for the boy. He’s been flying and playing terrific and looking every bit the player we believe we have brought here.”
In a further blow to Tranmere, on-loan Liverpool wide man Jack Dunn will also be out for a few weeks after picking up an injury.
“Jack will be between four and six weeks, that is two of our main players are going to be missing along with James Wallace. Jack’s given us balance on the other side as well and helped to make us a real good goal threat. This could give someone else an opportunity to step up. We have to keep winning games of football, and I’m confident we can do that.”
One person who will not be getting the chance to shine is former Imp Louis Almond. He had a terrific season last time out at Southport, but after signing for Tranmere days before Gary Brabin departed his chances have been limited. He’s made just five appearances, and hasn’t been seen since October 25th.
He’s now re-joined struggling Southport on-loan until the end of the season. He was delighted to get out of Prenton Park.
Almond said: “I’m delighted to be back at Southport and looking forward to be competing for a starting place. I want to play and it was great to be joining in this morning in the gym with the lads. Everything happened very quickly this morning.”
Mellon has also ruled out recalling Connor Jennings, currently on loan at Macclesfield Town.
“We can’t do anything about Connor, he still has another few weeks left on his loan, but we’ll have to look within the group to find another way now. We don’t want to keep bringing in players all the time. We’ve lost two very, very good wide men. We are disappointed, we won’t look for excuses, we’ll just get on with it.”
Despite not wanting to bring players in, Mellon hasn’t ruled out spending some of the £30,000 raised by fans over the past week. The transfer deadline for National League clubs is the end of March.
“If the right player comes along. It’s not as easy as going and cherry-picking the ideal player. Good players are playing for good teams at this time of the year, but if somebody became available we could do that – within reason.”
So in one breath he doesn’t want to bring players in and make excuses, in the next he’s admitting he might have to. Mixed messages from a man with a selection headache, and his side aren’t even in the FA Cup Quarter Finals!