Tranmere manager Micky Mellon hopes 32-goal James Norwood will stay after 'madness' of play-off final victory

Ian Winrow
Mellon will have to reinforce his Tranmere squad for life in League One - PA

Of all the tasks confronting Micky Mellon as he prepares his Tranmere Rovers side for life in League One, resolving the future of James Norwood, the leading scorer, is likely to be the most pressing.

Mellon admitted that improvements would have to be made to the squad who have secured back-to-back promotions, and that the loss of Norwood would come as a major blow to the team.

The forward, who failed to add to his season’s tally of 32 goals at Wembley on Saturday, is out of contract this summer and, having transferred his non-League scoring form to senior football this season, is a target for Ipswich Town, who have just been relegated from the Championship.

“All the contracts I’ve ever signed bar one have been at the end of the season when things are done and dusted, so for me it’s no different signing a contract at the end of the year,” said Norwood, 28. “Obviously I’ve got a lot to think about. People may not be interested [in me]. I’m at a club that I love, the fans are fantastic and we’ve just got promoted, so there is lots to think about.

“I will take as much time as I need to know what I’m going to do.”

Norwood has hit 32 goals on the way to Tranmere's play-off final victory Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Mellon acknowledged that he was uncertain whether the forward would still be at Prenton Park next season. “I don’t know,” said the 47-year-old Scot. “I would hope so. He’s done brilliant for us, as have so many of them. A lot of them played in the National League last season. 

“We’ve gone up two levels now. It’s madness really. We will work on it and see what we have to do, but we will enjoy it.”

Connor Jennings’s header in the last minute of extra time was enough to take Tranmere up after Newport had lost Mark O’Brien in the 89th minute when the captain and defender collected a second yellow card.