Nigel Adkins: Tranmere players have got smiles back on their faces

By Sports Desk November 25, 2023

Tranmere boss Nigel Adkins feels his side have found some belief after they extended their unbeaten League Two run to three games with a convincing 3-1 home victory over Gillingham.

Rob Apter bagged a brace either side of Connor Jennings scoring before Connor Mahoney grabbed a consolation in the dying minutes.

The victory means Adkins’ side have taken seven points from their last three matches and have moved two points clear of the relegation zone.

Adkins said: “As a team together, everyone achieves more and the lads and the fans were brilliant today.

“The whole team worked their socks off and Gillingham are a good footballing side and we knew they’d have good possession of the football.

“I must give great credit to the fans, too, who got behind the team when they needed it and were patient as well when the opposition had the ball.

“It was a joy to watch the players play with freedom and the expression on their faces when they got the ball.

“Everyone has worked really hard behind the scenes through the course of the week to put ourselves in a good position to win a game of football.

“People have got smiles on their faces and are enjoying playing as part of a team again.

“There’s a belief now and a confidence that belief can grow with everyone putting in a shift together.”

Gillingham manager Stephen Clemence has overseen two defeats in his three league games in charge of the club.

He said: “Obviously I’m very disappointed.

“I’m still learning a lot about everybody here and about the players, the way things are and what’s gone on in the past.

“I didn’t like what I saw from the team today and we’ve got to improve and we will do, I have no doubt about that.

“I felt in the first half that we were fully in control and then we conceded a goal that came from basic errors that shouldn’t have happened.

“Then we had a mad start to the second half where they score a second and then a third and the game is all but done.

“Every goal could have been avoided and we should have done better for all of them. We might have had a lot of the ball in the first half but we didn’t create enough.

“Just because we did well last week at Salford that doesn’t mean that every week is going to be the same and there’s no way we can dominate every game.

“But when you are in difficult moments what I do expect is that we get through those periods and not concede and if we have to get men behind the ball and defend solidly then that’s what we have to do.”

Related items

  • Frenkie de Jong and Pedri both injured as Barcelona draw with Athletic Bilbao Frenkie de Jong and Pedri both injured as Barcelona draw with Athletic Bilbao

    Barcelona remain third in LaLiga after being held to a 0-0 draw by Athletic Bilbao at San Mames.

    A frustrating evening for Barca included midfielders Frenkie de Jong and Pedri coming off with injuries in the first half.

    Xavi’s men are eight points behind leaders Real Madrid, who had drawn 2-2 at Valencia on Saturday.

    And they are a point behind second-placed Girona, whose 1-0 loss at Mallorca earlier on Sunday, via a first-half Jose Manuel Copete goal, had offered Barca the chance to climb the table.

    Fourth-placed Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis 2-1 at home with a Rui Silva own goal and Alvaro Morata effort putting the hosts in charge before William Carvalho’s reply, and Alexander Sorloth netted a hat-trick as Villarreal thrashed second-bottom Granada 5-1 at El Madrigal.

    In Serie A, second-placed Juventus suffered a third defeat in five games as they lost 2-1 at Napoli.

    Giacomo Raspadori scored a late winner on the follow-up when Victor Osimhen’s penalty was saved by Wojciech Szczesny, after Federico Chiesa had cancelled out Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s opener.

    It leaves Juve 12 points adrift of Inter Milan, who host Genoa on Monday.

    Fourth-placed Bologna strengthened their Champions League bid by coming from behind to triumph 2-1 at Atalanta, with Scotland’s Lewis Ferguson netting the winner.

    Cagliari moved up a place to 18th with a 1-0 win at Empoli. They are level on points with 17th-placed Hellas Verona, who beat Sassuolo 1-0 at home.

    Sunday’s other top-flight game in Italy saw Frosinone and Lecce draw 1-1.

    Bayer Leverkusen went 10 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with a 2-0 win at 10-man Cologne.

    After the hosts had Jan Thielmann sent off early on, Jeremie Frimpong and Alejandro Grimaldo scored in each half for Xabi Alonso’s men as they took full advantage of second-placed Bayern Munich being held at Freiburg on Friday.

    Maximilian Beier’s first-half brace secured a 2-1 win for Hoffenheim at home against Werder Bremen, the hosts holding out for three points after having Marius Bulter sent off in the 73rd minute and conceding a stoppage-time Skelly Alvero goal.

    In Ligue 1, Brest are nine points behind Paris St Germain in second after Pierre Lees-Melou’s first-half effort secured a 1-0 home win over Le Havre, extending their unbeaten run to 13 games.

    Toulouse came from behind to win 2-1 at home against fifth-placed Nice, and Lens are up to sixth following a 3-0 win at Lyon.

    Lorient moved out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win at Rennes, Montpellier dropped in having drawn 2-2 at home with Strasbourg and second-bottom Metz won 2-0 at Nantes.

  • Mikel Arteta has ‘no clue’ how many points Arsenal might need to win title Mikel Arteta has ‘no clue’ how many points Arsenal might need to win title

    Mikel Arteta is not setting a points total he believes will deliver the Premier League title – but the Arsenal boss has warned the rest of the season may have to be perfect if they are to do so.

    The Gunners travel to bottom club Sheffield United on Monday night knowing victory will once again see them close to within two points of Liverpool at the summit.

    Reigning champions Manchester City are also locked in the three-way tussle for the title as Arteta aims to bring the Premier League crown back to Arsenal for the first time in 20 years.

    Asked how many points might be required to win the league this season, the Spaniard replied: “You always ask me this question and I never get it right.

    “The demands, you might have to win every game. I don’t know. I have no clue.

    “There are a lot of games and we are all going to have crazy schedules and this league might be different to last season. Anything under 90 points I think it (winning the league) would be very difficult.

    “We have to improve in every aspect, that is all, all managers try to be better in what we do.”

    Arsenal were top of the table at this stage last season and led the pack for a total of 248 days before ultimately slipping behind City in the run-in.

    “I think we are where we deserve to be,” Arteta said on Arsenal’s current standing.

    “We could probably be a little bit better in terms of the points that we have deserved in the league

    “Being (back) in the Champions League is another step – that makes obviously the challenge more difficult and the amount of injuries that we had I think we are going good but we want to do better.

    “The target is clear. It’s to be better every day so that when it comes to the weekend, earn the right to win and do everything you possibly can to win the game.

    “This is the focus and the way I see them training every day gives me  more confidence and more reasons to believe that we have a good chance because they really want it.”

  • Barcelona lose Frenkie de Jong and Pedri to injury in Athletic Bilbao stalemate Barcelona lose Frenkie de Jong and Pedri to injury in Athletic Bilbao stalemate

    Barcelona suffered a costly evening against Athletic Bilbao as they failed to make ground on leaders Real Madrid after a goalless draw that saw Frenkie de Jong and Pedri pick up injuries.

    Defeat for second-placed Girona and Real’s draw at Valencia opened up an opportunity for Barca but they were held to a stalemate at San Mames and sit eight points off top spot.

    Worse yet, they lost midfielders De Jong and Pedri in the first half, with the latter unable to hold back the tears as he contemplated the latest in a series of fitness setbacks.

    Ernesto Valverde’s side struggled to get time on the ball in the opening stages, with his former club Barcelona enjoying plenty of possession as Joao Cancelo established himself as the liveliest outlet on the park.

    Hanging on to the ball did not translate into obvious openings, though, with a pair of set-pieces the closest they came to an early breakthrough.

    Andreas Christensen headed over Ilkay Gundogan’s free-kick and Jules Kounde’s ambitious flick off a corner also cleared the crossbar.

    For their part, Athletic were feeding on scraps and largely unable to make use of the ball when they made it into the final third. Barca’s flow was disrupted when De Jong went over on his ankle in the 26th minute, clearly unable to shake off the pain as Fermin Lopez took his place.

    They almost grabbed an opener out of nowhere shortly after the half-hour when Cancelo tried his luck from long-range after Unai Simon’s punt up-field and caught the keeper out of position. Simon managed to back-track and get a hand on it but still needed Yeray Alvarez to clear up on the line.

    With time running down on the first half Pedri went down with nobody else involved, forced out of the match and letting his emotion get the better of him as he returned to the dugout.

    Athletic came alive at the start of the second period, captain Inaki Williams twice finding space in behind and twice missing the target as he let loose. Barca defenders Ronald Araujo and Pau Cubarsi were also forced into shutting down promising moves as the tide threatened to turn.

    Alex Berenguer had a couple of promising breaks but floundered when it came to an end product while 16-year-old Lamine Yamal, Pedri’s replacement, saw a penalty shout waved away at the other end.

    The hosts almost made Barca’s night even worse in added time when Dani Garcia arrived unmarked at the far post from a corner but failed to direct his header on target.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.