Patience is virtue for Alan Knill as Gulls go in search of three points
Torquay United manager Alan Knill has called for patience as his new-look Torquay United side chase their first win of the League Two season.
Despite making several new signings over the summer, the Gulls are yet to win a league game, after drawing with AFC Wimbledon and Morecambe and losing to Oxford United last time out.
However, Knill, who is happy with the performances of his side so far, feels it is only a matter of time before his Gulls are up and running and hopes to gain the first maximum at last year’s play-off finalists Northampton Town on Saturday.
“I think we’ve been steady. Obviously we’d like three wins, but we haven’t got that and I think we could have won three,” he said.
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“We knew it would take a little bit of time, but we could easily have won the first two games and last Saturday there was nothing in it – except for the goals.
“I know that sounds ridiculous, but that was it. There was nothing between the two teams. It was just that we switched off three times and they scored three.”
Knill added: “I’m a believer that if the team you pick at the start of the season is the one you think is going to do it, then you have to allow those players time to get in to the season.
“I remember watching Bristol City under Gary Johnson – I think it was at Northampton, funnily enough – and the players were fighting with each other and hadn’t won in ages.
“They went on to win promotion that season and I remember Gary, who is a good friend of mine, saying to me: ‘Alan, you have to try and give them ten games to get into the season, to get going and get to know each other.
“I am the same and, unless something drastic is wrong, and we don’t think anything drastic is wrong; we think we are not far off, you have to allow the players to play.”
Allowing the players the freedom to play could prove tricky, though. Northampton are renowned for their physical presence and pushed, pulled and barged their way to the League Two play-off final last season, where they were comprehensively beaten by Bradford City.
Aidy Boothroyd’s side appear to be having something of a hangover from last season’s disappointment, something not rare with a play-off team, with the Cobblers having lost two of their three games of this campaign.
“We will find out on Saturday whether it’s a good time to play them. But, to be honest, I don’t really look at how other teams are doing because we are only three games in,” Knill said.
“We have seen it so many times before where people have had poor starts and end up in the play-offs, so I don’t take too much notice about how teams are doing. I am just trying to concentrate on us.
“Obviously, we need to make some improvements, but I’ll be saying that in March because I am never happy! As long as I see a progression and we are going in the right direction.”
The Gulls’ chief added: “Whenever you play against an Aidy Boothroyd team, you know it is going to be a competitive game and we are going into it prepared for a competitive game.
“I do think the league will be very close this year. I don’t see anyone running away with it, I think everyone thinks they can win on a Saturday afternoon, no matter who they play and we are no different.
“Whether we are playing Oxford or Northampton, we feel we can get a result and we are going to Northampton looking to get a result.”