LIAM Ridehalgh could never describe his time at Tranmere as boring.

The left back experienced just about every emotion during his eight seasons on the Wirral.

Three relegations, two Wembley finals and two promotions – including one where he was sent off less than a minute into the play-off decider – made for an eventful time for the City defender.

As Ridehalgh returns to Prenton Park for the first time in opposition colours tomorrow, the 30-year-old admits there was rarely a dull moment.

“We never had a season floating around mid-table – it was either a relegation battle or going for promotion,” he said.

“I think I’ve been involved in five play-offs with Tranmere, so it was obviously a busy period but one that I loved.

“We always had something to play for right up to the last game of the season. But that’s what you want as a footballer rather than just drifting to the end.”

Ridehalgh was voted their players’ player of the season in 2020 when Tranmere were relegated from League One on a points-per-game basis after the campaign ground to a halt with the pandemic.

It was a tough one for the club to take.

Ridehalgh added: “There were 10 games left but we had 12 because of a couple of games in hand that had been called off due to Covid and the weather.

“Twelve games is almost a quarter of a season. We did feel hard done by but the FA took it out of our hands and you couldn’t really too much.

“Peter Clarke had a little bit of involvement with the Zoom meetings. We had one as players and were told they’d decided we weren’t getting relegated.

“Then, all of a sudden, it came out that we were. I just felt that it was little unfair that people got the chance to get promoted out of the division but we didn’t get that chance to stay in.

“But that’s gone by the by and you can’t really dwell about it.”

Ridehalgh’s last two appearances for Tranmere were against his future City manager – as they were edged out in the play-off semi-finals by eventual winners Morecambe.

But it did not crop up in the conversations with Derek Adams before the defender’s summer arrival at Valley Parade.

“I’ve not spoken to the manager about it - I’ll let him enjoy that one getting promoted.

“Morecambe were a really tough side to play against. I think we had 60 odd per cent possession at Prenton Park in the first game but we lost 2-1.

“It just shows how his teams can get going and hopefully that’s what we can do tomorrow night.

“Unfortunate we didn’t go through but Morecambe had that little bit extra.

“It was a successful season for him and I think Morecambe were outstanding and deserved to go up.”

Ridehalgh has a wealth of experience of getting up from League Two – as well as with Tranmere he was also promoted earlier in his career for Rotherham and on loan at Swindon.

So, he knows what it takes to succeed at this level – and is not swayed by City’s current 10th-place standing.

Ridehalgh added: “Over my time at Tranmere, we’ve always really kicked on in January.

“If you look at where we’ve been in the table pre-January, it’s probably where we are now.

“The time over Christmas and January is really important for any football club and you’ll start to see the league table shape up then. That’s when we should start to be judged on where we’re going to be.

“We’ll keep ticking over. We’re not losing games of football that much, obviously we’d like to win a lot more instead of the draws but those wins will come.

“You can see we’ve got the players to take those opportunities and the people at the back to keep the ball out the net. I’m sure those results will start to come.

“Tranmere will be in our face and look to have a very fast start like they always do.

“But it will be important for us to slow the game down at times because the fans can get on their back of the players.

“It’s going to feel strange being back but I’m looking forward to it.

“The end goal is to go there and win a game of football and I won’t be thinking anything other than that until afterwards and I see all the fantastic people I’ve met at the club – I’ve got friends for life there.”