Alan Knill awaiting news while considering fresh faces at Plainmoor
THE NEXT 48 hours could prove among the most important of Torquay United’s early season, with the immediate futures of four players set to be decided.
As if Aaron Downes’ knee injury had not left a big enough gap in the Gulls’ defence, fellow centre-back Krystian Pearce had to miss Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat by York City because of a blood condition that caused the former Notts County player to spend several days in hospital and miss training last week.
Torquay manager Alan Knill revealed that the results of tests on Pearce are expected on Monday or Tuesday.
The best scenario is that the condition, previously unsuspected, can be easily treatable and Pearce could return to training quite soon. “We just don’t know at the moment,” said Knill.
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Downes is due to undergo surgery on his knee injury on Monday, when it will become clear whether it is a straightforward cartilage problem, or worse.
United also lost midfielder Ben Harding just before half-time against York, with Knill reporting: “It looks as if Ben has torn something in the bottom of his foot, but we’ll know more after the weekend.”
The future of loan signing Callum Ball will be decided on Monday as well.
The young Derby County centre-forward’s loan expired after Saturday’s match, and the change of managership at Pride Park – Steve McLaren in for Nigel Clough – could play a part.
Knill left Ball on the substitutes’ bench against York, and he did not see action.
The Gulls’ boss was to the point in his verdict after Saturday’s defeat.
“When you lose 3-0 at home, the fans have every right to complain. We should never lose 3-0 at home,” he said. “There was nothing in it in the first half. If anything, we were the better team. But you have got to score.
“We came out in the second half and nearly scored, but they went straight to the other end, we switched off, weren’t organised at a throw, and they scored.
“We probably shaded the first half, but it’s fine lines and, if you switch off, you give the opposition the opportunity to score and you can be in trouble. After the second goal, it became a struggle.
“I can sit here and say we haven’t got our two centre-halves, we lost our central midfield player and one of our goalkeepers isn’t fit, but you have to accept those things and take the flak.”
Of his new signings, Knill said: “It’s a big step up for Ade Azeez, from Under-21 games to the League, and he did really well off the bench at Newport last week.
“He’s just finding his feet with us, but I thought he and Anthony O’Connor were as good as anyone else in the team.
“O’Connor is a good player, and he will only get better while he’s with us.”
Knill added that he and assistant Chris Brass will be out watching games this week, with a view to further possible ventures into the loan market, but he stressed that finances remain tight at Plainmoor.
York manager Nigel Worthington said: “Obviously, it’s a great result for us.
“We were a bit in and out in the first half, not playing as well as we can do, but we came in at 0-0, which was a plus.
“But Wes Fletcher has taken the first goal fantastically well, and then Josh Carson scores with his free-kick, and it makes the game a bit easier from our point of view.
“I felt we were a bit untidy with the ball in the first half, and we gave it away needlessly at times, but we played some good stuff in the second half.”