Candy calls for Gulls fans to make presence felt against Robins
Torquay United chief executive Andrew Candy has issued a plea to fans to 'turn up and make some noise' to help the Gulls rediscover their 'winning habit' against Cheltenham Town at Plainmoor on Saturday (3pm).
Despite the team having yet to win at home in the league this season, Candy said home attendances have so far been above the level by which the club sets their annual budget.
That figure includes a bumper opening-day crowd against AFC Wimbledon (3,441) and a home clash against Oxford United (3,176).
With Hartlepool never likely to bring much of a following, it was still encouraging to see 2,646 fans come through the gates for their last home clash. But with manager Alan Knill's men having only recorded one league win so far this season – at Northampton – a good display this weekend has taken on added importance.
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He said: "I do look at it as a fan, and obviously you want to win every game, but realistically it's going to take time for a new team to gel together.
"From Saturday there are signs that that is starting to happen, so my message to the fans would be to come out and make some noise for the team.
"Winning can become a habit and we've got games coming up where you would hope to pick up some points, so we would like the fans to come out and help us get into that winning habit."
He added: "At the start of every season we budget on the presumption of a certain number of fans coming through the gate, and at the moment we're on the right side of that.
"But so much of that is influenced by what happens on the pitch, and a couple of recent results haven't gone our way for whatever reason.
"Having said that we're still very early into the season, but so far our home attendances have stood up. It helps that we were at home on the first day of the season, which is good because people come along with renewed enthusiasm for the season ahead, and then we played Oxford who traditionally bring a decent following with them.
"Cheltenham Town is one of those games which is usually played on a Tuesday night as it's not so far away, and I think this is the first time we've played them on a Saturday for a few years – so we would hope for a good crowd," Candy added.
"I'm not sure how many Cheltenham will bring, but hopefully we will get a good Torquay following and fingers crossed it will coincide with a good performance and a home win."
Daniel Sullivan scored twice as Torquay United beat Ilfracombe Town 4-1 to reach round three of the Devon FA St Luke's Challenge Cup at Plainmoor on Tuesday night.
Knill fielded a largely second-string squad to take on the North Devon outfit.
After a goalless first half, Combe's Stan Paxton gave the visitors a shock lead on 55 minutes. But Damon Lathrope hit back for the Gulls just a minute later, before Sullivan made it 2-1 on 57 minutes.
Sullivan (75) and Courtney Cameron (81) then put the game out of reach of the Toolstation Western League Premier Division side.