TRANMERE are ready to secure the futures of manager Ronnie Moore and his coaching staff with new contracts to be announced today.
I understand Moore, assistant manager John McMahon and goalkeeper coach Dave Timmins have agreed deals that will tie them to Prenton Park until the summer of 2015.
Rovers are keen to reward Moore and his backroom team for their remarkable work in keeping the club top of the League One table through most of the season on one of the the lowest budgets in the division.
Chairman Peter Johnson is also aware that Tranmere’s success made Moore a potential target for other clubs, particularly those seeking a manager capable of operating on limited resources.
Moore, 59, a former Tranmere player, captain, coach and assistant manager, began his third spell as manager at Prenton Park last March, when he replaced Les Parry.
He had been out of work for the previous 11 months, after being sacked by Rotherham.
Moore’s brief then was to lift a struggling Tranmere side clear of the threat of relegation. He succeeded more quickly than anyone could have expected as Rovers took 20 points from his first 10 games in charge and eventually finished the campaign in 12th position.
Moore’s blending of retained players, including Andy Robinson and former Everton midfielder James Wallace, with new recruits and loan signings such as Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, Liam Palmer and Jake Cassidy, produced a potent combination.
Tranmere’s flying start to the 2012/13 campaign earned Moore manager of the month awards for August and September. Those expecting the Prenton Park bubble to burst as the winter, injuries and suspensions pressed in were surprised as Rovers clung on to top spot, keeping big spending rivals in their wake.
A 2-1 victory at Brentford last weekend, their eighth on the road in the league, lifted Tranmere onto 56 points – the same total they reached over each of the last two full seasons.
They have 17 games still to play.
Moore and his staff have fostered a powerful spirit within the squad, which chairman Johnson witnessed on the journey back from the victory at Brentford.
Moore said: “Ther’s a great spirit of togetherness with this group of players. The chairman was on the team bus for the first time in a while, coming back from Brentford and I don’t think he could believe the singing that was going on. It was like a trip to Blackpool for a stag do. Everyone was so happy with the way things had gone.”
Moore and his players are focused on preparations for Saturday’s encounter with Swindon Town at Prenton Park. They want to make amends for a 5-0 hammering at the County Ground in the week before Christmas. “I want us to show Swindon what we are really about,” Moore said.