Robbie Cundy of Torquay United during the Vanarama National League match between Torquay United and Wrexham on Tuesday 29 Oct 2019, Plainmoor ,Torquay, Devon -PHOTO: Sean Hernon/PPAUK

Torquay United players have been taken 'beyond limits' during enforced break

'We might get a few letters from their mums' says the Gaffer


Manager Gary Johnson has worked his players hard during Torquay United's two-week break which will end tomorrow afternoon when they take on Wrexham in Wales. United were without a game last weekend - their exit in the second round proper of the FA Trophy saw to that - so the game against Wrexham will be the first since United lost 2-1 at Vanarama National League leaders Barrow on Saturday, February 1.

Until then, United's 2020 form was an improvement on the stumbling end to 2019. Their last league defeat came at home against Yeovil Town when they were beaten 2-0 on New Year's Day. So the trip to Wrexham, who are below 15th-placed Torquay in 19th, offers the chance for the team to 'get on a run' said Johnson. "If you get on a run, who knows where you are going to end up."

The manager continued: "There are still plenty of points to play for. There are a lot of teams ahead of us at the moment but if we can keep pulling a few in then we could be lucky enough later on to sneak into the play-offs. We are still looking at that end, to be honest with you.

"Our form has been 'not bad', we were OK at Barrow. We need a game, we want a game, and as long as Hurricane Whoever-It-Is [Storm Dennis] misses us, it will be good to get a game The boys have been working hard this week. We have had a period without a game so we have been able to get a bit of 'pre-season' work into them. With the niggling injuries we have had, we have had a little bit more time to recover."

United's players have been doing a lot of running, and energy work in the gym, and Johnson believes they will be prepared physically and mentally for the challenge ahead.

"We have got to make sure that they believe they are ready to go to war - to play in all these important games," he said. "We have taken them [the players] on occasion beyond what they thought were their limits - so we might get a few letters from their mums - but I think now they have realised why we did it. And it has all panned out nicely - and they are all ready now for a competitive game."

Torquay are on 42 points from 33 games, while Wrexham - where former Gulls' player Luke Young is now plying his trade - are on 39 from 44. The goal-difference is such, however, that if Wrexham win, they could go above the Gulls.

The Wrexham manager Dean Keates said this week: "We have to make sure that we go out there at the weekend and give it absolutely everything for the football club, and the lads who cross that white line do their best to get three points."

Johnson said: "This is a proverbial six-pointer, if they win they will be equal on points with us, and if we win we will be six points clear. It's an important game and they [Wrexham] will see that as well because they need to get themselves out of trouble. Our next win is going to be vital and the earlier that comes, the better."

If his clearance has gone through in time, expect a start for new loan signing Ade Azeez up front alongside Jamie Reid, while Johnson will have to shuffle things at the back after veteran Gary Warren returned to Exeter City following just three games on loan from St James Park.