TRANMERE'S interim boss Nigel Adkins is excited to experience his first taste of Friday night football at Prenton Park as a manager.

Rovers take on Doncaster tonight following back to back defeats and they will be looking to bounce back following a difficult afternoon at rivals Crewe where the visitors finished the match with nine men as their woeful away form continued with a 2-0 loss. 

But despite their recent form, Adkins is confident the famous Friday night atmosphere under the lights can inspire his side against a Doncaster team who sit just two places above Tranmere in 19th.

“As a Tranmere Rovers supporter myself I used to come down and stand in the Cow Shed and watch the game on a Friday night," said Adkins.

"Obviously the atmosphere would be great and after the game we'd jump over the barrier and run on the pitch - you can't do that now of course - and you'd try and get Ronnie Moore's or Stevie Coppell's tie ups and then try and scarper home and get back in one piece. 

"Traditionally the home team is the favourite and why is that? Because they have that familiarity of surroundings, continuity in how they prepare for the game and the home support to drive you on.

"It was interesting that when we had the Covid pandemic a lot of away teams were winning games because there were no fans - the home fans do play a big part and it's Friday night under the lights at Prenton Park where we have a passionate fanbase and I'm one of them."

Doncaster Rovers recorded their biggest win in over 12 months last weekend as they put four goals past bottom side Sutton and Adkins has been impressed with how one of his former players has done at the Eco-Power Stadium.

"Grant McCann, the manager, and Cliff Byrne, the assistant manager, both played for me at Scunthorpe United," he said. "They'll be reacquainted with Joe Murphy as the three of them all played in that team when we won League One and did ever so well in the Championship for a couple of season so it will be good to see them again. 

"Grant is a really intelligent coach and he's done well in his first spell at Peterborough and in his first spell at Doncaster. Then he went to Hull and replaced me when I left and they got relegated that season but then bounced back and won League One and it's great to see them do well.

"They're both bright coaches and if you see the way Doncaster play there is a flexibility about them and a fluidity of movement with players who are intelligent and they're also a threat at set pieces as they've got a bit of size about them.

"But it's fair to say we've been scoring goals and creating chances and we've got to keep that going."

Adkins confirmed that veteran goalkeeper Joe Murphy will be between the sticks for Tranmere following Luke McGee's red card against Crewe.

"I was the goalkeeping coach at Scunthorpe when Joe came in and he was instrumental in that four years where we won League One and showed resilience in the Championship.  

"Joe allows us to play out from the back and he's a great shot stopper, great character and unbelievable talker. Since I've come back here I've been really impressed with him from day one as a man, as a character, as a bloke and as a proper teammate for everybody and one who leads by example. 

"He's 42 but he's super fit - everyday in training he does it right and he's the gym doing strength work. He's the goalkeeping coach and I think he has a really bright future if he wants go further with his coaching.

"However, he's playing at the moment and he deserves to - if Luke wasn't here I'd be more than happy to play Joe all the time because he has been outstanding everyday in training."




"From my point of view we've seen a steady improvement in so many things that I'm really pleased with but ultimately we're judged on results and we need to keep striving to make our performances better consistently. 

"We're getting punished for individual and collective mistakes and that includes me but there is improvement.