Honest Martin Ling has no excuses for Torquay United's poor performance
"We deserved exactly what we got." So said Torquay United manager Martin Ling within minutes of the final whistle going at the New York Stadium. He did not even have to add the word 'nothing'.
Everyone present knew Torquay had been second-best. Still, full marks to him for being so honest. Too many managers use an A to Z of excuses ranging from refereeing decisions to the temperature of the half-time tea to mask poor performances. Not Ling.
"At 1-0 there was always the chance that we could have snatched something, but really that would have been an injustice," he admitted. "I said to my players that sometimes it is men against boys. Sometimes you've got to man up a bit. Looking at today's performance, we needed to man up."
Without naming names, Ling singled out the left side of Torquay's starting XI as an area of particular concern, Rotherham's winner having come from a defensive mix-up involving left-back Kevin Nicholson. "We just didn't do it down that side at all. There was an awful lot of indecision there, a real corridor of uncertainty.
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"I don't really think it [Rotherham's goal] was [goalkeeper] Michael Poke's fault, but it is something we need to look at. It needs to be sorted out and quickly, which it will be.
"We had the one chance to get something out of the game which says it all really. Unfortunately it came to Billy Bodin on his right foot rather than his left and was a bit behind him. That was a good chance and we gave them their goal, but they fully deserved the win. As I said, anything else would have been a bit of an injustice."
Ling will now be expecting a positive reaction to Saturday's disjointed, lacklustre performance at Wimbledon tomorrow night, the fixture list playing tricks with the Gulls by throwing up a second sizeable road trip within the space of just four days.
"It's always good to play quickly when you have played badly," said Ling. "It gives you the opportunity to get it out of your system. We will have a look at what happened today and I will pick the team accordingly, and we will see if we can go down there and get a win."