Adkins speaks ahead of Gillingham fixture

Nigel Adkins has spoken positively of the attitude of his Tranmere players, in the build-up to Saturday’s home match against Gillingham.

The Rovers boss highlighted the “inner belief and desire” of his squad, which has helped them pick up four points from their last two league games. 

ON THE DRAW AT SUTTON: 

“The lads have gone down with a committed attitude. We were hard to beat, which is what we talked about. We knew it was going to be a horrible game from the point of view of the weather and the conditions. Give Sutton United credit because the nature of the way they play, they’re the most direct team in the league.  

“We only had one save to make in the first half, and then to not have to make a save in the second half is great. Tom Davies, as the captain, and Jordan Turnbull led that defensive line really well. I would have liked us in the second half to capitalise on a few of the knockdowns like we did in the first half. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that well enough.” 

ON IMPROVEMENTS IN PERFORMANCE: 

“You can see it every day in training, the attitude has been spot on. I’ve got a lot of experience of beating around training grounds, and you can see that there’s an inner belief, there’s a desire, there’s a resilience.

“You’ve got good role models, like Connor Jennings and Tom Davies, making sure that we drive our standards as high as we can all the time. You can sense it from the supporters as well. You can sense it changing for the right reasons. We all know it’s a challenging period, but we’re all in it together.” 

ON CONNOR JENNINGS’ NEW CONTRACT:  

“He’s been immense. He was the Man of the Match in virtually every game at the start of the season. We talk about doing the basics well to an elite level, he does it every day he comes in. He’s a perfect role model for the younger players.

“I’ve been very fortunate over the years that I’ve had some good senior players to help develop some of the younger players. Your attitude can help other players. Once they see it, and they’re surrounded with it on a daily basis, that can only help the younger ones get better.” 

ON TEAM NEWS:  

“It’s a big shame for Luke [Norris]. He’s going to have an operation on Monday, and probably going to be out for three months. All being well, it’ll get fixed, then we can look forward to him being a big part of us for the latter part of the season. 

“Jake Leake came off the bench at the weekend, so that’s really good and he’s alright. Paul Lewis is still on his road to recovery, the same as Joe Starbuck. They’ve still got a few more weeks to go. Josh Hawkes managed to join in for most of the training session [on Thursday]. So, although he’s not fully fit to start games yet, he’s doing well enough to start putting himself into contention for the run of games that we’ve got coming up.” 

ON GILLINGHAM:  

“It’s going to be an interesting game. They’ve got a new manager. They were top of the league at the start of the season. Then obviously, like all teams, they had a little bit of a dip in form. This is a very competitive division; I think everybody would agree on that.

“They’ve got some talented football players at Gillingham. They’ve got some players who have played at a high level, who are talented on the football. It should be a good game for the fans to go and enjoy. Likewise, we’re going to focus as much as we can on ourselves and getting ourselves right in preparation for the game. 

Image: TRFC

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