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John Warrington - A Footballing Journey

Started on 26 October 2018 by JohnWarrington / First Post
Latest Reply on 24 April 2019 by chrisburnss / Last Post
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John Warrington - A Footballing Journey

September 2018

Fixtures

SkyBet League Two
Northampton vs Tranmere



A fantastic result away at Northampton. Kieron Morris continued his good form with two more goals. The only disappointment was that we didn't get the clean sheet.

Checkatrade Trophy North Group C
Shrewsbury vs Tranmere



Given that I can't stand the Checkatrade Trophy, I decided to play a second string side. The lads produced a fantastic performance and we came out 3-1 winners. Even though James Norwood di score two coming off the bench.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Colchester



Another good win for us against Colchester. I thought we might be in for a disappointing result when Diaz Wright equalised but Ismael Miller and Charlie Lakin scored to give us a 3-1 win.

SkyBet League Two
Carlisle vs Tranmere



We continued our good form with a fine 4-1 win away at Carlisle and with that result we went to the top of the League Two table. So far so good in my management career!

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Newport County



A slight injury to Kieron Morris meant that Jonny Smith came in to the team and he certainly made an impression, scoring twice. We absolutely streamrolled Newport in the first half but a red card for Chris Dagnell curtailed our progress. That said, I can't complain with a 6-0 win.

SkyBet League Two
MK Dons vs Tranmere



A very disappointing result. We simply were not at the races and deserved to lose. Despite the result, we are still top of the table with a two point gap to Crewe in second.

Stats



League Table



Awards

John Warrington Manager of the Month x1 (Sep)
Kieron Morris Player of the Month x1 (Aug)
Charlie Lakin Player of the Month x1 (Sep)
George Cooper Young Player of the Month x1 (Sep)

October Fixtures



John Warrington - A Footballing Journey

October 2018

Fixtures

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Lincoln



After losing to MK Dons last time out, I was looking for a response from the lads against Lincoln. For 88 minutes, it looked like it wasn't going to happen, but Paul Mullin was then fouled in the box. Ollie Banks put away the penalty and we secured the 3 points with a 2nd in stoppage time as Lncoln committed too many man forward.

SkyBet League Two
Morecambe vs Tranmere



This was a bizarre game. We struggled with 11 men on the pitch but when Ollie Banks was sent off, it was like someone flicked a switch on. From then on we were by far the better side and scored three to take all 3 points.

Checkatrade Trophy North Group C
Tranmere vs Man City Under 23's



I played a second string side again and for the second time they didn't let me down. Sure it was Man City's kids but the result means we are into the next round of the Checkatrade Trophy. Do I want a trip to Wembley or do I carry on playing a under strength side?

SkyBet League Two
Yeovil vs Tranmere



The scoreline flattered us, we were simply garbage all game. The first half in particular was tough to watch as both full-backs struggled massively. We tried to get back into it second half but we just weren't able to get into the game. Disappointing.

SkyBet League Two
Forest Green vs Tranmere



This was a great way to bounce back after the shambles that was the Yeovil trip. That said, Forest Green did have a man sent off at 1-0. Not that I think that would have mattered as we'd looked like the stronger aside up until that point anyway. George Cooper was particuarly impressive.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Crawley



Not much to say here really. We were under par but a Harvey Gilmour goal saw us go away with all three points.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Macclesfield



If the Crawley game was under par, this one certainly wasn't. We blew Macclesfield away in the first-half and it was game over by 18 minutes. We kind of took our foot off the gas after that but the damage was done.

Stats



League Table



Awards

John Warrington Manager of the Month x2 (Sep, Oct)
Kieron Morris Player of the Month x1 (Aug)
Charlie Lakin Player of the Month x1 (Sep)
George Cooper Player of the Month x1 (Oct)
George Cooper Young Player of the Month x1 (Sep)

November Fixtures



John Warrington - A Footballing Journey

November 2018

Fixtures

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Exeter



We went into our third straight home game in good form and I was hoping we could continue that form. I got my wish and we came away with a routine 3-0 win against Exeter. It was great to see Jay Harris come off the bench and get himself a goal.

FA Cup 1st Round
Tranmere vs Crawley



Next up it was FA Cup action against fellow League Two side Crawley. I had a good feeling going in and seven minutes after the start it was 2-0. From there we looked pretty comfortable, despite Jimmy Smith getting a goal for the visitors. It was great to see Paul Mullin finally break his goal duck with his first goal since August.

Checkatrade Trophy North Group C
Bradford vs Tranmere



Absolutely incredible! I picked a second string yet again away at League One Bradford and we ran out 6-1 winners! James Norwood, who was one of the few regulars to play, netted a hat-trick. That result meant we topped the group and we face Rochdale in the 2nd round.

SkyBet League Two
Crewe vs Tranmere



The game at Crewe wasn't our best performance and we had to work hard. Thankfully, we managed to come away with a 1-0 win, thanks to a rare goal from defender Mark Ellis.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Oldham



Just like we did against Crawley in the cup, we flew out of the traps and found ourselves 2-0 up innside 8 minutes. Oldham never really recovered from there and it was an easy win. This result was especially pleasing given Oldham's position in the League Two table.

SkyBet League Two
Grimsby vs Tranmere



Early goals yet again. We seem to have a knack of scoring early on and it's great to see as it puts us in command of the game. This game was no different with us being 3-0 up inside 19 minutes! Long may it continue.

Following the result of Grimsby, I was approached by Mark Palios and signed a new deal until the summer of 2020. I'm delighted to be staying at Tranmere and hope we can continue our march towards League One.

Stats



League Table



Awards

John Warrington Manager of the Month x3 (Sep, Oct, Nov)
Kieron Morris Player of the Month x2 (Aug, Nov)
Charlie Lakin Player of the Month x1 (Sep)
George Cooper Player of the Month x1 (Oct)
George Cooper Young Player of the Month x1 (Sep)

December Fixtures



John Warrington - A Footballing Journey

December 2018

Fixtures

FA Cup 2nd Round
Tranmere vs Bristol Rovers



A valiant performance against a team in a higher league. We were unlucky not to win in all honesty and I think we'll be able to challenge for a good result in the replay.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Cambridge



What a way to prepare for our cup replay at Bristol. We absolutely pummeled Cambridge and it could have been more than eight! The lads were simply amazing all game. The biggest surprise was Manny Monthe. Hasn't scored for the club before then pops up with three!?

FA Cup 2nd Round Replay
Bristol Rovers vs Tranmere



Take a bow super-sub Jay Harris. I brought Jay on and within 35 seconds, he opened the scoring for us. Nors scored just after and that was that really. A great performance which sees us into the 3rd round where we face Crewe at home.

SkyBet League Two
Notts County vs Tranmere



As good as our exploits in the cup were, they cost us two points here. We struggled to get going and deserved to go into half-time two-nil down. I could see the lads were knackered but they somehow managed to bring the game back to 2-2 late on which was really pleasing to see.

Checkatrade Trophy North 2nd Round
Tranmere vs Rochdale



Despite the higher league opposition, I stuck with my second string philosphy in the Checkatrade Trophy. Once again they didn't disappoint, Harvey Gilmour the standout player as we registered a 3-0 win and a place in the 3rd round against Walsall.

SkyBet League Two
Bury vs Tranmere



The game at Bury started well for us with Ollie Banks giving us the lead but we capitulated midway through the first half. After an hour I was worried we'd be losing for the first time since October. Enter Ishmael Miller. The big striker turned the game around with his presence up top and we turned it around to earn 3 valuable points.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Morecambe



This one was a lot more routine. Two goals in the first half put us in the driving seat and we never looked back. The scoreline could have been even better but Ollie Banks also missed a penalty.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Yeovil



Another 4-0 win to round off 2018. Every single player put in a good performance on our way to victory and they showed why we are top of the league. It was great to give 17-year-old winger Carl Spellman his first taste of EFL action too.

Stats



League Table



Awards

John Warrington Manager of the Month x4 (Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec)
Kieron Morris Player of the Month x2 (Aug, Nov)
Charlie Lakin Player of the Month x1 (Sep)
George Cooper Player of the Month x1 (Oct)
George Cooper Young Player of the Month x1 (Sep)

January Fixtures



John Warrington - A Footballing Journey

January Transfer Window

The first thing I did at the start of the transfer window was to terminate to loans of Luke McCullough and Jonny Smith. Neither of them was playing much and I needed to free up some of our wage budget.

My first priority was to sign some cover for left midfield and left back. We did this by bringing in Millwall's Shane Ferguson on loan for the rest of the season.

With the signing of Ferguson complete, we then received a 22.5k bid for David Perkins, a bid I couldn't refuse for the 36-year-old. To replace him, we dived into the free agent market and picked up former Palace man Jordan Mutch on an 18-month deal.

On deadline day, we received a 12.25k bid for veteran midfielder Jay Harris from Forest Green, so I let him leave as he was only going to be released in the summer anyway. We also brought in veteran striker Robbie Keane on a free transfer to bolster our attacking options.


John Warrington - A Footballing Journey

January 2019

Fixtures

SkyBet League Two
Macclesfield vs Tranmere



An interesting way to start the new year, an absolute goal-fest at Moss Rose. Macclesfield took the lead early before we then responded with six unanswered goals. By then the game was out of sight but that didn't stop Macclesfield from scoring three towards the end, though we also got one through Ishmael Miller. Not a game for the defensive-minded!

FA Cup 3rd Round
Tranmere vs Crewe



With a potential tie against the big boys on the line, the lads were up for this one. It took us until the second half to make the breakthrough but once we did it was plain sailing. Job done.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Northampton



This wasn't one of our finest performances but an Ollie Banks goal on the stroke of half-time was enough for all three points.

SkyBet League Two
Cheltenham vs Tranmere



A disappointing result. I felt like we should have won it but two defensive mistakes allowed them to score. I think we need to be careful that the number of games we are playing currently doesn't affect us.

Checkatrade Trophy North 3rd Round
Walsall vs Tranmere



Really happy with this result, especially as we won on penalties to go through to the North quarter-final. I think this is the last time that I'll play a second-string side now, especially as we'll be up against Fleetwood in the next round.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Swindon



I feared the worst in this one when we started slowly. We really struggled in the opening 20 minutes until we woke up a little bit. Once we did, we were the better side and we deserved the 4-2 win.

SkyBet League Two
Mansfield vs Tranmere



Another game where we started off slowly, it's starting to get a little annoying now. It used to be us that flew out of the traps in games. At the moment it seems like we need to go a goal down before we start playing proper football. Saying that, at least we are winning games eventually, could be worse.

FA Cup 4th Round
Huddersfield vs Tranmere



Tom King! What a goalkeeper. Tom singlehandedly kept us in the FA Cup with a string of magnificent saves, especially after Sid Nelson saw red in the second half. To draw with Premier League opposition is a massive achievement and the replay will be a nice little earner for the club.

Checkatrade Trophy North 3rd Round
Fleetwood vs Tranmere



Another superb performance from the lads. We never once looked like not winning this one, which is amazing against a side 5th in League One. It makes me believe that we will be able to challenge in League One if we go up!

Stats



League Table



Awards

John Warrington Manager of the Month x5 (Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan)
Kieron Morris Player of the Month x2 (Aug, Nov)
Charlie Lakin Player of the Month x1 (Sep)
George Cooper Player of the Month x1 (Oct)
George Cooper Young Player of the Month x1 (Sep)

February Fixtures



John Warrington - A Footballing Journey

February 2019

Fixtures

SkyBet League Two
Port Vale vs Tranmere



A bit of a disappointing result. We had enough chances to win the game but we simply failed to put them away, unfortunately.

FA Cup 4th Round Replay
Tranmere vs Huddersfield



HEARTBREAK! We pushed the Premier League side all the way, even managing to take the lead in extra time despite being down to 10 men. We eventually lost 4-2 on penalties which is gutting after such a great effort from all the lads.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Stevenage



Stevenage were up against it from the 1st minute after Scott Cuthbert and we eventually made them pay, running out 5-1 winners. I was a little annoyed to concede but the 3 points were the main thing.

SkyBet League Two
Cambridge vs Tranmere



I gave a first start to Robbie Keane and he rewarded me with a goal within two minutes. Two goals in two minutes from Kieran Morris and Ishmael Miller killed the game off and Cambridge never even got close to finding a way back into the game.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Notts County



An extremely annoying result. We should have won the game but we switched off right at the end. Cameron Burgess misjudging a backpass, allowing Harrison Heath an easy tap in.

Checkatrade Trophy North Semi Final
Scunthorpe vs Tranmere



We once again came up against a League One side but we couldn't repeat the heroics from previous rounds. We tried our best but Scunthorpe were simply the better team on the night. At least it now allows us to focus solely on the league and securing the title.

Stats



League Table



Awards

John Warrington Manager of the Month x5 (Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan)
Kieron Morris Player of the Month x2 (Aug, Nov)
Charlie Lakin Player of the Month x1 (Sep)
George Cooper Player of the Month x1 (Oct)
George Cooper Young Player of the Month x1 (Sep)

March Fixtures



John Warrington - A Footballing Journey

March 2019

Fixtures

SkyBet League Two
Exeter vs Tranmere



A routine away win at Exeter. This result also confirmed our promotion to League One! I couldn't be more prouder of the lads, what a first season in management it has been for me.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Crewe



I think securing promotion affected us in this one, we just never got going. Once Harvey Gilmour was sent off, we never looked like scoring and Crewe punished us with two goals. Disappointing. One positive was that Steven Clair became our youngest ever player at the age of 15.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Grimsby



This was a great way to bounce back from the disappointing Crewe performance. A good performance and a routine win.

SkyBet League Two
Oldham vs Tranmere



Not only did we absolutely batter our nearest rivals, we also clinched the League Two title in their own backyard. I'd call that a successful day. James Norwood was on fire too, scoring four of our five goals.

SkyBet League Two
Colchester vs Tranmere



Having sealed the title, I decided to give our usual first team a rest. Unfortunately, our second string lost 5-3 but the result was irrelevant really.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Carlisle



Our usual first team and a more recognisable scoreline. We were simply better than Carlisle from start to finish.

Stats



League Table



Awards

John Warrington Manager of the Month x5 (Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan)
Kieron Morris Player of the Month x2 (Aug, Nov)
Charlie Lakin Player of the Month x1 (Sep)
George Cooper Player of the Month x1 (Oct)
James Norwood Player of the Month x1 (Mar)
George Cooper Young Player of the Month x1 (Sep)

April + May Fixtures



John Warrington - A Footballing Journey

April + May 2019

Fixtures

SkyBet League Two
Newport vs Tranmere



A very pleasing result, I couldn't have asked for much more from the lads really. Paul Mullin was particularly impressive, scoring twice.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs MK Dons



A very disappointing result at home against MK Dons. We just didn't perform, there is no other way to put it.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Forest Green



A second poor result in a row really. I think the low attendance had an effect on the lads as Prenton Park wasn't as boisterous as it usually is. A fair result after an even game.

SkyBet League Two
Lincoln vs Tranmere



I thought we were in for another poor result when Lincoln took the lead but we battled back well and deserved to win, regardless of the red card. Ollie Banks ran the show in the midfield and showed why he's being tipped to win the Player of the Year award.

SkyBet League Two
Tranmere vs Bury



A fantastic 5-1 win over Bury in the final home game of the season. Watching James Norwood lift the League Two title was a proud moment for me and hopefully, we can win many more trophies in the future.

SkyBet League Two
Crawley vs Tranmere



A superb comeback on the final day of the season with 10 men. The lads were excellent as they have been so often this season.

Stats



League Table



Awards

John Warrington Manager of the Month x5 (Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan)
Kieron Morris Player of the Month x2 (Aug, Nov)
Charlie Lakin Player of the Month x1 (Sep)
George Cooper Player of the Month x1 (Oct)
James Norwood Player of the Month x1 (Mar)
George Cooper Young Player of the Month x1 (Sep)


John Warrington - A Footballing Journey

End of Season Awards

League Stats



League Awards

Manager of the Year



Really happy to win Manager of the Year in my first season of management. Hopefully the first of many.

Player of the Year



I'm really delighted for Kieron. He's been magnificent this season. It's a shame that he won't be with next season because Walsall want him back.

Golden Boot



What a season for James Norwood, scoring 30 in 44 appearances in League Two.

Club Awards



Fans' Player of the Season

Based on the stats for the league, Ollie Banks was more than deserving of this award. Realistically though, it could have gone to a number of different players.

Signing of the Season

I'm inclined to agree. Jordan came in halfway through the season and made a big impact with his performances in the center of midfield.

Young Player of the Season

Had to be really, didn't it? Kieron has been sensational this season and I'll be gutted to see him go when he goes back to Walsall.


John Warrington - A Footballing Journey

The Stats



*10 appearances minimum

Most Appearances
1. James Norwood - 55(3)
2. Tom King - 50
3. Ollie Banks - 49(4)

Most Goals
1. James Norwood - 40
2. Ollie Banks - 25
3. Kieron Morris - 22

Most Assists
1. Charlie Lakin - 16
2. Kieron Morris - 13
=. James Norwood - 13

Highest Average Rating
1. Kieron Morris - 7.79
2. Ollie Banks - 7.76
3. Adam Buxton - 7.73

Player of the Match Awards
1. Ollie Banks - 9
2. James Norwood - 8
3. George Cooper - 6

Most Interceptions
1. Cameron Burgess - 129
2. Mark Ellis - 108
3. Sid Nelson - 107

Tackles Won per game
1. Shane Ferguson - 3.29
2. Charlie Lakin - 2.97
3. Jordan Lyden - 2.22

Pass Completion %
1. Ollie Banks - 83%
2. Ben Pringle - 82%
=. Jordan Mutch - 82%
=. Chris Dagnall - 82%
=. Robbie Keane - 82%

Shots on Target
1. James Norwood - 141
2. Kieron Morris - 79
3. Paul Mullin - 68

Distance Travelled per 90 mins
1. Harvey Gilmour - 8.1 miles
2. Jake Caprice - 7.9 miles
=. Jordan Lyden - 7.9 miles
=. George Cooper - 7.9 miles
=. Zoumana Bakayogo - 7.9 miles


John Warrington - A Footballing Journey

Around the Leagues

Premier League

Champions - Man City
Rest of top 4 - Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal
Relegated - Watford, Huddersfield, Cardiff

Championship

Champions - Aston Villa
Promoted - Stoke, Leeds
Relegated - Bolton, Rotherham, Millwall

League One

Champions - Charlton
Promoted - Sunderland, Scunthorpe
Relegated - Accrington, AFC Wimbledon, Wycombe, Rochdale

League Two

Champions - Tranmere
Promoted - Lincoln, Mansfield, Colchester
Relegated - Morecambe, Swindon

FA Cup

Winners - Man City
Runners-Up - Man United

Carabao Cup

Winners - Liverpool
Runners-Up - Leicester

Community Shield

Winners - Man City
Runners-Up - Chelsea

Checkatrade Trophy

Winners - Scunthorpe
Runners-Up - Portsmouth

Champions League

Winners - Man City
Runners-Up - Napoli

Europa League

Winners - Arsenal
Runners-Up - Leverkusen

Super Cup

Winners - A. Madrid
Runners-Up - R. Madrid


John Warrington - A Footballing Journey

Pre-Season

Transfers

Going into pre-season I knew that I had a huge job on my hands. We had a lot of loan players last season so I knew I would need to rebuild the squad. Here's what I had at the end of the 2018/19 campaign.



The first thing I did was extend the one loan I could, the loan of Charlie Lakin. Fortunately, we don't have to pay any of his wages so that saves on the wage bill.



The next bit of business was to figure out who to release from their contracts. In this list, there weren't many shocks. The only two to really feature for the first-team last season were Ishmael Miller and Zoumana Bakayogo, both of whom are on the wrong side of 30.

I then set to work on building the squad back up and boy was June a busy month.



Six free transfers, five loans and one fee paid!

We managed to sign last season's loanees Tom King and Shane Ferguson following their release from Millwall which was really pleasing.

In defence, we started by securing the loans of Aaron Lewis and Brendan Galloway from Swansea and Everton respectively. We were then able to pick up Deji Oshilaja, Jon Guthrie and Michael Harriman, all of whom were playing League One football last season. Oshilaja was at AFC Wimbledon, Guthrie was at Walsall and Harriman was at Wycombe. Our final defensive signing was Dion Conroy, who cost us a fee of 87k.

In midfield, we welcomed three players. Siriki Dembele came in on loan from Peterborough, Ryan Hedges came in on loan from Barnsley and we managed to sign Jordan Clark on a free following his release from Accrington.

We didn't really need to sign anyone up front with us having Paul Mullin, Robbie Keane and James Norwood but I brought in Jayden Stockley on loan from Preston as cover in case we picked up an injury or two.



This is how our squad looked on the first of July and I was still not content. I felt like Scott Davies and Jake Caprice wouldn't cut it at League One level so I decided to try and get rid of them.



Even I was amazed to get this price for Jake Caprice! Getting that price for Jake meant I was able to expand the squad further. Looking at the squad, I decided that getting another goalkeeper or two in was my priority.



The first man in was James Shea from Luton for a fee of 42.5k.



The day after we confirmed a deal with Oldham which saw Scott Davies move to Boundary Park for a fee or 4.7k, leaving us with Tom King and James Shea as our goalkeeping options.



As a result, I decided to dip into the loan market and brought in Thomas Glover from Tottenham.



Two days later, we received a bid for Paul Mullin from Shrewsbury. After discussions with Mark Palios, we decided to let Paul go and look to sign a replacement.



We replaced Paul by confirming the signing of Danny Rose from Mansfield for a fee of 83k. This was the last deal we made before the season and I'm pleased with the squad we've been able to build. I honestly think it's capable of at least pushing for the playoffs in League One. The only player missing is a back-up CM.

Friendly Results



Pre-season went very well with 4 wins and 1 draw. That one draw came against a very strong Liverpool side which didn't really bother me as we more than held our own. The goal scoring form of Jordan Mutch was the big bonus of pre-season and I'm excited to see if he'll be able to take that into the new season.
After an incredible first season, I look forward to seeing how you adapt to life in League One. The loan market has been utilised well and your business, as a whole, looks strong. I have a good feeling about your hopes this season, especially if the likes of James Norwood can find even a glimpse of his form from last season.
Great stuff so far. Out of interest, what tactic are you using? You've scored a shed load of goals.

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