Insight into Tranmere’s new opponents for next season

After the conclusion of the League Two season, Tranmere Rovers ended the campaign in 12th place, which is seen as a huge disappointment. 

Whilst we say goodbye to Leyton Orient, Stevenage, Northampton, and one of Stockport, Carlisle, Bradford, and Salford, who are all promoted and Hartlepool and Rochdale who suffer the agonising drop to the non-league game, we welcome six newcomers who will visit Prenton Park next year. 

The four, MK Dons, Morecambe, Accrington Stanley, and Forest Green, suffered the drop from League One, and Wrexham and Notts County, who were promoted from the National League, will face Rovers next season. 

We give insight into all the teams, who are welcomed into the fourth tier. 

MK Dons (21st in League One)

It’s been a disastrous season for MK Dons, who after challenging for promotion to the Championship last season, have suffered the drop to League Two. 

After a promising run round February, which took them out of the dreaded relegation zone, a run of eight games without a win towards the end put the nail in the coffin for Mark Jackson’s side and ultimately sealed his fate. 

The Dons have had experience of the fourth tier many times, with their last campaign in 2018-19, with a third-place securing promotion back to League One at the first time of asking. They’ll be hopeful of a return straight away. 

Morecambe (22nd in League One)

They had their fairytale time in League One, but after two seasons of fiercely competing, the time came for Morecambe and they dropped back to the fourth tier. 

The amount of players allowed to leave the Mazuma shows problems inside the club, and for most of the campaign the Shrimpers were lingering below the dotted line and after many last-minute strikes and unexpected wins, they kept their status alive before being beaten on the final day by Exeter City. 

They have usually been around the relegation zone while in League Two, apart from their few play-off campaigns, where last time they were victorious against Newport County in the final in front of a limited capacity due to the COVID pandemic, so they’ll be hoping to repeat a similar feat and climb right back to the third tier. 

Accrington Stanley (23rd in League One)

A five-year stint in League One finally came to a distraught end as John Coleman couldn’t repeat the magic he’d worked at the WHAM as Stanley drop. 

Many years of punching above their weight finally came to a detrimental close, as a mostly gruesome run towards the end of the season, bar a couple of wins, cost Accrington dearly and they now prepare for life in League Two. 

A solid outfit for most of their part in the fourth tier, the Accies were no strangers to promotion battles, with plenty along the way as well as winning the title in 2017-18, so Coleman and his staff will galvanise their squad to challenge for an immediate jump back up to the third tier. 

Forest Green Rovers (24th in League One)

Their first season as a League One club progressively got worse for Forest Green, and the inevitable outcome was demotion and with a dismal 27 points, they weren’t a match for a lot of teams. 

Although they had some memorable moments, including defeating Sheffield Wednesday at the New Lawn, the writing was on the wall for a while and Duncan Ferguson was fighting a losing battle. 

After many promotion challenges in League One, they more than merited their place in the League One table, so you’d expect a complete overhaul of players for their new campaign to install pride and challenge once more. 

Wrexham (1st in National League)

15 years of blood, sweat and tears in the National League for Wrexham was capped off with the record points total in the National League and a spot back in the EFL. 

Phil Parkinson and his players were involved in one of the most enthralling title races, contested between the Red Dragons and Notts County, but the pivotal moment was Wrexham’s 3-2 win against the Magpies on 10 April, where promotion was all but secured. 

A squad built by the Hollywood actors, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, as owners had the desired impact as Wrexham are back amongst the EFL teams after many years of hurt and tireless work. 

Wrexham need to make the Racecourse a fortress and a stadium that teams despise going to, as they haven’t tasted a league defeat at the Cae Ras since 2021 and the players need to adapt to a new style of league and opponent to achieve their aims. 

Notts County (2nd in National League, play-off winners)

Another side who have been through a lot in recent years finally end years of hurt in the non-league game, and Notts County rejoin the EFL since 2019. 

The oldest professional football club were part of one of the most pulse-racing title races of all time, but after ending the season on an unbelievable 107 points, it wasn’t enough.

A dramatic comeback victory against Boreham Wood in the play-off semi final was matched by an even more pulsating encounter in the final against Chesterfield, and despite falling behind twice, the Magpies were victorious on penalties against the Spireites and the celebrations began as the EFL returned to Meadow Lane. 

The celebrations in Nottingham were even more sweet, due to the fact their much-loved and respected chief executive, Jason Turner, with a complementary and touching photo of Turner carried around Wembley, as celebrations were dedicated to him. 

Former Swindon Town boss Luke Williams performed miracles in his first season at Notts County, making the Magpies one of the most likeable outfits in the division with their expansive style of football. 

Coming back to League Two will predictably take some getting used to, but Williams and his players will attempt to adapt to that to reach their goals for the season, and they’ve shown with the calibre of players, a spirit that is refreshing could take them far. 


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