Alan Knill accepts responsibility for Torquay United's defeat at Fleetwood
Torquay United manager Alan Knill believes that big-spending Fleetwood Town will push for promotion, but that did not ease his disappointment at the way his side were swept aside at the Highbury Stadium.
“We were beaten by the better team and, especially when you look at their squad, I will be surprised if Fleetwood aren’t up there at the end of the season,” said Knill after the Gulls’ 4-1 defeat.
“But we didn’t compete with Fleetwood.
“As a performance, and as a group, that wasn’t good enough and, as the manager, I take responsibility for that.
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“It was a difficult day all-round.
“We made a terrible start – it’s been like that in nearly all the games away from home so far.
“It’s taken us ages to get going, and against a quality side, they are going to punish you.
“We conceded four terrible goals from a defensive point of view, but the game was really over when they scored their second before half-time.”
Knill agreed that goalkeeper Martin Rice had been United’s best player on the day, saying: “Martin has been like that all season so far, but he’s had to make too many saves.
“I don’t think our defence was to blame in particular. We haven’t been letting in goals on the whole, but when you think that a certain department is going OK, it comes back to haunt you.
“Fleetwood played pretty much as we expected them to, but we didn’t compete well enough.
“The only thing we can do is go home, work hard and be better next week at Rochdale, which will be another tough game.”
Knill added that he did not anticipate a dip into the loan transfer market, which reopens this week, in the near future, and he repeated that United’s current budget dictates any move in would have to be accompanied by one player going out.
Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander, whose budget is one of the biggest in League Two, was delighted by an impressive display from his team, and a victory that lifts them up to fourth place.
“I thought we were outstanding all over the pitch, right from back to front,” he said.
“I have said before that we don’t have first-team players and reserves here – every member of the squad is a member of the team.
“I did a lot of thinking before I picked the eleven for this match, but I have to say that the players who were left out reacted brilliantly.
“Positions in the table are irrelevant at this stage. Points are what’s important.
“We just want to make sure that we are in contention when the season comes down to it.”