Ling cannot wait to put frustrating week for Gulls behind him
Torquay United are hoping to bounce back from their most frustrating week of the season so far when they take on Accrington Stanley at Plainmoor on Saturday.
The Gulls lost tamely 2-1 at Wycombe Wanderers in last weekend's npower League Two fixture, have had to handle a sickness bug running through the squad, and then saw Tuesday's Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie against Yeovil Town postponed because Plainmoor was waterlogged.
"It's not been the best week we can remember," manager Martin Ling said, "and we need to put it behind us." Waterlogging problems are rare at Plainmoor, and United are optimistic that the Accrington game will be on.
Asked whether he was relieved the pitch didn't suffer serious damage in midweek, Ling said: "The fact is it just wasn't playable – when the match referee tried to drop the ball, it wouldn't go anywhere.
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"I was more frustrated that we couldn't give two or three players a chance to stake their claim for Saturday.
"I was planning to play Tom Cruise, Damon Lathrope and Danny Leadbitter against Yeovil – they needed games and to push their claims for a League start." The "plus" is that all United's 24-man squad should have recovered from injuries or illness for this weekend, with the exception of midfielder Ian Morris, who is out long-term after surgery on a ruptured achilles tendon.
Torquay are trying to use this week's "international break" to extol the virtues of "real football" and tempt Westcountry fans of Premier League clubs back to their local team.
"You won't see diving, provocative tweets and prawn sandwiches in League Two," said a club spokesman with a cheeky swipe at the top-flight ahead of Accrington's visit to Plainmoor this Saturday.
"We are all about mud, pies and proper honest, good football."
The Premier League and Championship have the weekend off because of World Cup qualifiers – England play San Marino at Wembley tomorrow night and then Poland in Warsaw next Tuesday.
Many exiled fans of Premier League clubs do travel from the Westcountry to watch their millionaire favourites each week. But Torquay are offering £5 off their normal admission price against Accrington, for any supporter brandishing a valid adult season-ticket for any Premier League or Championship club.
The Gulls' spokesman said: "If you're normally a resident at Old Trafford, Anfield, Ashton Gate, or anywhere in the top two divisions, why not sample some real football at Torquay United?
"And you could even take the chance of standing on an old-style terrace."