Howe earns praise of Taylor for more disciplined approach
Torquay United’s assistant manager Shaun Taylor has praised the on-pitch restraint of centre-forward Rene Howe, even though the Gulls’ leading scorer has picked up seven bookings already this season.
Howe, who recently served a one-match suspension after reaching the five-card mark, was cautioned for the seventh time in last Saturday’s 2-0 npower League Two win at York City. But Taylor, who enjoyed a fine career as an “old-school” centre-half with Exeter City, Swindon Town and Bristol City, said: “I think Rene has withstood a hell of a lot this year.
“He’s grown up massively, and he isn’t reacting to things like he possibly was last season. I’ve felt for him at times recently.
“If I was a manager putting out a team against Rene, I know what I would say to my own centre-halves – ‘Keep at him. You might get a reaction’. But, apart from one incident early this season, he has kept his cool very well.
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“He was booked late in the game at York, for persistent infringement, but some of the decisions which went against him were very harsh.
“You couldn’t help thinking: ‘If he can’t go in there, we’ll end up with a game with no challenges at all’.”
United are preparing for Saturday’s League Two visit of Dagenham and Redbridge without skipper Lee Mansell, who is in the middle of a three-match suspension for his straight red card against Southend United recently.
The Gulls also have defenders Joe Oastler and Aaron Downes on four bookings. They need to steer clear of trouble until December 31, another six matches, to avoid one-match bans.
“As a player, I never went out thinking that I was going to get booked. I just concentrated on trying to win the ball fairly,” said Taylor.
“As a defender, you’re making more decisions than anyone else that could affect your bookings situation, but, if you cringe every time you went for the ball, you’d be a nervous wreck.
“The one thing you do know is that, if you get booked early in a game, you can’t afford to make another foolhardly challenge.
“It’s a difficult situation for Joe and Aaron, but they can’t let it affect their game.”
Oastler and winger Danny Stevens, who both scored at York last weekend, have been named in the latest League Two team of the week.