Date:Saturday October 9 2010
We talk to Torquay supporters group Gloucester Gulls ahead of today's game.
1) You made a great start to the season, topping the table for the first four game. You've now gone almost six weeks without a win and dropped down to 8th... where's it all gone wrong?
The Gulls made their best ever start to a season by winning the first four games of the season, continuing an unbeaten run started at the end of the 2009/10 season. In fact not only were they unbeaten for 11 consecutives matches, but they went 998 minutes without conceding a goal. I suppose what went wrong was that Paul Buckle was awarded Manager of the Month for August as we have not won a game since. Fundamentally nothing has gone wrong, the entire team is playing attractive passing football, but have failed to convert the many opportunities they have had to score. In addition, opposing teams have been doing their homework, and have been swamping the midfield area restricting the Gulls ability to play passing football.
2) How are you expecting the rest of your season to go from here?
At the start of the season, I predicted Torquay United would finish in the play-offs and I still believe that is a realistic expectation
3) Paul Buckle seems to have done a fantastic job. I assume Torquay fans are happy to have him?
Paul Buckle has done more than a fantastic job. When he took over as manager just over 3 years ago, the club was in turmoil. They had just been relegated from the Football League and only had four players contracted to the club. At the end of his first season, Torquay United had made it to the play-offs and appeared in the FA Trophy Final at Wembley. In his second season, he had guided the Gulls back into the Football League. At times he risked alienating the home supporters, for instance by releasing some of the most popular players at the club during the January transfer windonw, but the wisdom of the decision was bourne out by the unbeaten end to the season.
4) On to Saturday, who are the star players we should look out for?
Torquay United are playing as a team and as such do not have individual star players. Players to definitely watch though are Guy Branston in the centre of defence, not much gets past him; in midfield Nicky Wroe and Lee Mansell can both be relied upon to give 100%; and up front Elliot Benyon has come into his own this season with his speed and intelligent runs.
5) Who are the weak links?
On current perfromances I would say there are no weak links. Certainly the strikers need to find their finishing touch again, but I could not criticise any of the players for their effort and dedication
6) Give us one fact we are unlikely to know about Torquay United FC....
Torqay United have the record for scoring the fatest own goal - just 6 sconds at home against Cambridge United in 1977
7) What's your knowledge/views of Crewe Alexandra? Be honest.
Obviously well aware of your manager Dario Gradi and the fact that he seems to have assembled a very good squad of players that I am expecting to be involved in the race for promotion at the end of the season. Looking at the results this season, it is clear that you are capable of scoring and conceding goals (7-0; 5-5) and that is probably reflected in the number of drawn matches you had taken part in this season
8) How do you see Saturday going?
I think the match is going to be very close, and will certainly be entertaining. It will be the Gulls third consecutive away match, and I hope they do not suffer from 'coach fatigue'. If pushed, I would predict a 2-1 victory for Torquay United.
A big thanks to Gloucester Gulls. You can reach their website at http://www.gloucestergulls.co.uk/.
Date:Saturday October 9 2010
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