Tranmere V Stoke at Prenton Park - Match Preview

Moore impressed by new-look Stoke

Tranmere boss Ronnie Moore expects Stoke to pose a very different proposition under new manager Mark Hughes when they visit Prenton Park in the Capital One Cup.

The Barclays Premier League side cultivated a reputation for playing physical, long-ball football during Tony Pulis' seven years at the Britannia Stadium but have started to shed that image since Hughes came in over the summer.

Hughes, whose own playing career took him to European powerhouses Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, has been lauded for stamping his own style on the Potters and Moore lent his voice to those impressed by the Welshman's start.

"Mark Hughes is trying to get them to play and to play out of the back," the Rovers boss said.

"They do go long at times but they're good passers into proper areas. It's going to be a tough game, no doubt about that, but it's a game we look forward to because we're not expected to win. But we have to make sure we play without any fear."

While Pulis' tactics were often dismissed as ugly and outdated, Stoke became incredibly difficult to break down and beat.

Moore wishes such qualities were more prevalent in a Tranmere team which has won just one Sky Bet League One game and conceded 19 times in eight fixtures this term.

"We're too nice and we need to be aggressive," he added.

"It's hard when you're not really an aggressive person. I'm not saying go out there and boot somebody and kick them in the air, I'm saying be aggressive by closing people down and getting in people's faces.

"These days they come through academies all nicey-nicey, you're really looking for a dog, somebody who is going to sit there in defensive midfield and do a job."

Stoke boss Mark Hughes is happy for games to be coming thick and fast at the moment, with his tenure still in its infancy.

Hughes took over as boss in the summer and the Potters have made a fairly encouraging start to the campaign, taking seven points from their opening five Barclays Premier League fixtures as well as seeing off Sky Bet League One side Walsall 3-1 at home in the Capital One Cup second round.

They have also earned praise for what has been regarded as an improved playing style compared to their seasons under previous manager Tony Pulis.

Hughes feels things are going well but has stressed his Stoke side are "still very much a work in progress".

And with that in mind, he does not view the fact the Staffordshire outfit have a Capital One Cup third-round clash at Tranmere - just three days after their 3-1 league defeat at Arsenal - as a bad thing at all.

"The more games we can play, the better for the group in terms of what we are trying to do," Hughes said when asked about the trip to Tranmere, who are another third-tier team.

"At this point in the season, we are still very much a work in progress, so games will help us.

"We will get better as we play more often together.

"I feel we have taken huge strides in a small space of time but we need to keep the performance levels going in the right direction.

"After a difficult opening period, where we have played Liverpool, Manchester City and now Arsenal, I think we have come through that in good heart and with a lot more confidence, so we are in decent shape."

Source: PA

Source: PA