SHEFFIELD United’s Danny Wilson has labelled managerial rival Ronnie Moore a ‘miracle worker’ ahead of his team’s visit to Tranmere Rovers tomorrow, writes James Shield.
The match, which pits fifth versus sixth in the League One table, is set to have a crucial bearing upon this season’s race for promotion with only seven points separating the division’s leading six sides.
Seven months ago Rovers, who climbed above United after beating Stevenage last weekend, were expected to be embroiled in a relegation battle at this stage of the campaign.
But having won exactly half of their matches on home soil since August, Moore’s charges now have serious designs on the Championship.
“Ronnie has done miracles with them,” Wilson said. “Being honest, I didn’t expect them to be challenging but they certainly are.
“People will be trying to stop them, though, with the same going for us.
“Rovers had a little bit of a blip when they lost some key players. The same as anyone would.
“But, by and large, Ronnie has kept their momentum going.”
Wilson’s cited Moore’s use of the loan market, which recently saw Mamady Sidibé arrive at Prenton Park, as a factor behind Rovers’ durability.
With the former Northern Ireland international yesterday admitting United are “unlikely” to make further acquisitions before this evening’s deadline “unless something changes in 24 hours,” efforts to ensure winger Jamie Murphy is available for the Bank Holiday programme have been redoubled.
The Scotland under-21 international has been nursing hamstring and back complaints since pulling-up against Stevenage.
With United facing a backlog of fixtures following the postponement of their meeting with Brentford five days ago, Wilson said: “General fitness wise, there’s no problem with Jamie. Clinically, though, he needs to be 100 per cent.
“He’s not joined in yet but we’re hoping he’ll be okay for either this one or, if not, then Monday.”
United entertain Carlisle on Monday and Wilson, reflecting on a run of only one defeat in eight games, added: “This squad is capable of doing it. Of course it is.
“But you don’t want to give other teams chances because you will get punished.”