Proud Martin Ling hails his young charges as Torquay United remain unbeaten
“With seven players out, I’m very proud of the point we’ve won,” said Torquay United manager Martin Ling, after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Port Vale had stretched their unbeaten npower League Two start to four games.
“It was a snatch-and-grab point, if you like. We didn’t get any of our fluent play going, and it was backs-against-the-wall stuff, especially in the second half. But sometimes a point is gained by hard work and resilience, and that’s what we had to show.
“In the second half it was one-way traffic, and Port Vale deserved a point. When you’ve got seven players out, you have to start looking deep into your squad, and I think this shows that we’ve got the same spirit and character in the squad that we had last season.”
Ling commented: “Was I right not to get someone in on loan to cover for [suspended] Aaron Downes? Yes, I think I was. Young Kirtys McKenzie may have got stretched a bit near the end, but I thought he was terrific – he had an outstanding game in the circumstances.
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“Nathan Craig also did very well on his first start in midfield – he’s going to be a good player.”
Of Brian Saah’s own goal, Ling said: “Michael Poke said he shouted and Brian said he heard him, so it was an unfortunate own goal. The ball in was in that corridor of uncertainty that often causes problems, and Brian also got away with another one a few minutes later. But he’s been a really good player for us over the past year, and we’ll allow him that one.”
Ling added: “We’re still unbeaten, and six points from four games is a decent start. We’ve had a tough start, including two away games (Port Vale and Fleetwood) that we could have lost.
“We could have more senior players back for Plymouth (at home) next Saturday, and we’re looking forward to that one now.”
Vale manager Micky Adams said: “Torquay are a good side, but we made enough chances to win the game comfortably.”