League Two Tips: Barrow’s Jolley good fellow to start with win

Michael the Christmas angel Barrow needed

Barrow 2.546/4 v Tranmere 3.02/1; the draw 3.613/5
Kick-off 19:45, Tuesday

Barrow have perked up with two wins since David Dunn‘s exit as manager. His assistant Rob Kelly remarked after Saturday’s win at Port Vale: “We always said we would grow into the league”. The Bluebirds were not doing so fast enough for the board, it seems. Kelly is more than happy to hand over to Michael Jolley, officially, having overseen Saturday’s win despite the former Grimsby boss being appointed before the game.

Jolley isn’t that experienced as a football manager, although he has a fantastic reputation for coaching at clubs including Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and Burnley, since 2005.

Few – if any other – professional football managers have a degree from Cambridge University. He also has a UEFA Pro Licence, the top coaching level. He was manager of AFC Eskilstuna in Sweden and then, as League Two followers are more likely to know, managed Grimsby Town for 18 months. There were great spells of results, and not so great, after his initial mission to keep them up was achieved. He won manager of the month at least three times and they had some cup successes. The curve was upwards.

A spectacular expletive-led, off-record rant at a BBC regional radio reporter prompted his exit by mutual consent. Everyone deserves a second chance, right? Particularly at Christmas, and in football terms just in time to make signings in January.

Maybe he will be the man to inspire Scott Quigley to the hatful of goals he netted to get Barrow promoted. Or to conjure more strikes out of Luke James and Dior Angus.

The game against Tranmere is perhaps the place to start. The honeymoon period is over for new boss Keith Hill, after Tranmere lost three of their last four matches. In two of them Rovers didn’t score. And they have conceded nine goals in that period.

Hill says the team’s main problem is giving enough support to 12-goal (nine in the league) top scorer James Vaughan. He wants the ball retainers to become chance creators and scorers. Calum MacDonald and Danny Lloyd also had chances. Kaiyne Woolery must be screaming: “I can only do so much from the bench!”

Barrow have a positive goals record at home and lots of draws for Jolley to turn into wins. Tranmere have a negative goal difference away, arguably only because of a 5-0 recent mauling at Exeter. But Barrow should be the more confident, especially at home, with a new boss to impress.

Southend can take three points from the Orient

1.910/11 v Southend 4.77/2; the draw 3.814/5

When a horse is in form, it’s time to keep backing it. Southend, who were locked out of their ground by disgruntled fans when their bus came back from an away game just a few midweeks ago, are now unbeaten in five games, winning three and scoring in four.

They took advantage of a dip by Colchester – who struggle to win away, but are more than likely to draw on their travels – to win consecutive home games for the first time…

Read More:League Two Tips: Barrow’s Jolley good fellow to start with win