Tranmere Rovers' manager ready for testing friendly against Everton

Tranmere Rovers manager Rob Edwards. Picture: Paul Heaps

Tranmere Rovers manager Rob Edwards. Picture: Paul Heaps

First published in Sport
Last updated
Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

TRANMERE Rovers' boss Rob Edwards is preparing his squad for what promises to be a testing pre-season match against Premier League giants Everton at Prenton Park tonight.

He said the game, which kicks off at 7.45pm, will be the ideal test for his players and is looking forward to taking charge of his team at home for the first time.

He said on the club's website: "It's perfect timing for us. Probably the weakest part of our game has been the shape of the team out of possession, so if ever a game is going to make the players concentrate this is it.

"I think the players look like they’re enjoying training and playing games, so to play against a club like Everton on what looks a top class pitch … I’m sure they’re looking forward to it.

"I can’t wait. I walked around the pitch before … we've got a really good week with Everton on the Tuesday and Bolton on Friday and two days training with really good weather.

"They’re fantastic games and I’m sure the supporters are looking forward to it as well."

Edwards will include Jason Koumas in his squad for the game after the midfielder made his comeback from a toe injury in Saturday’s friendly against Marine, completing an hour of the match.

He is also without injured left back Liam Ridehalgh, but Danny Holmes should be fit after missing the weekend friendly at Marine.

Abdulai Baggie has returned from international duty with Sierra Leone while Edwards' summer signings Marcus Holness, Marc Laird, Michael Ihiekwe, Eliot Richards, Kayode Odejayi and Matt Gill could all make their first appearances.

Everton are set to include Darron Gibson in the squad after he returned to training following a long spell out injured, while former Tranmere loanees Matthew Pennington and Matty Kennedy could feature in Roberto Martinez’s squad.

Edwards continued: "Jason showed flashes on Saturday of what he can do. He looked at times levels above other players on the pitch.

"We need to push on his fitness levels which he’s aware of. He’ll play a part in the Everton game and it will be a big week for him fitness wise."

Tranmere kick off their League Two season at Prenton Park, against York on Saturday, August 9.

Tonight's match is one of only two games Roberto Martinez’s Premier League squad will be playing in Merseyside before the 2014-15 campaign kicks off.

Prenton Park will also host the Toffee’s pre-season friendly against Celta Vigo on Wednesday, August 6, which kicks off at 7.45pm.

Tranmere kick off their League Two season at Prenton Park, against York on Saturday, August 9.

Everton have been training in Austria for the four subsequent warm-up games follow.

Looking ahead to the pre-season, manager Martinez told the club’s website, evertontv this week: "Training has been very, very good.

"The facilities were excellent and we have been fortunate with the weather as well.

The most important aspect has been the attitude and the approach of the squad.

"This is a winning squad with incredible standards and the work reflects that.

"We have had up to three sessions a day and that has provided a lot of good preparation for the bodies.

"You don’t prepare for friendlies, they are part of the preparation."

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