SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Friday, August 25, 2023: Liverpool's James Norris during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Southampton FC Under-21's and Liverpool FC Under-21's at the Testwood Stadium. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by Robin Jones/Propaganda)

Manager facing sack calls as Liverpool loanee subbed 42 minutes into debut

Liverpool loanee James Norris was subbed off 42 minutes into his debut for Tranmere, as one of many decisions leaving his manager under pressure.

Norris was a deadline-day signing for Tranmere, rejoining his former club on a season-long loan after outgrowing the confines of academy football.

The 20-year-old was an unused substitute in a 1-0 defeat to Wrexham the following day, but was handed a start for the trip to Fleetwood Town in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night.

Unfortunately, his debut lasted just 42 minutes, with manager Ian Dawes making the shocking decision to hook him just before half-time.

There was no sign of injury and no issue reported since, with Norris’ withdrawal considered a tactical change from the manager.

If being brought off at half-time is considered the ultimate ignominy for players, being substituted before the break is even worse.

Norris, who was deployed at left-back, endured a difficult half up against Ryan Graydon, but Tranmere supporters were left furious with Dawes’ decision:

Dawes, previously assistant, took over as caretaker following the sacking of Micky Mellon, before being appointed permanent manager in May.

In 17 games in charge of Tranmere, the 60-year-old has overseen four wins, with seven losses in nine so far this season, leading fans to call for his exit:

Elsewhere on Tuesday night, there was another debut in the EFL Trophy as Luca Stephenson started for Barrow in their group clash with Blackpool.

Unfortunately, it ended in a 2-0 defeat for the midfielder and his side, with Stephenson playing 88 minutes at Holker Street.

Harvey Davies was an unused substitute for Crewe as they suffered a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in Group B, having been rested as first-choice goalkeeper.