Torquay United boss faces tough call between Joe Oastler and Danny Leadbitter
Give or take the odd "caretaker", Torquay United's Martin Ling had to do what 90-odd other managers across the Premier and Football Leagues will have done this week – and tell someone they are not playing today.
The Gulls' boss would be quite happy if he had to sit down several pairs of players and give them the good and bad news before United take on Morecambe at Plainmoor this afternoon (3pm).
His big decision this week is whether to recall Joe Oastler at right-back after his one-match suspension or stick with Danny Leadbitter, who replaced him for Tuesday's 2-1 win against League Two leaders Gillingham.
Those two young men will probably know by now which of them will start against the Shrimps, but Ling says: "I want that sort of decision to happen in all positions.
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"Of course, you get long-faced players for ten minutes when they find out they're not playing, and rightly so, but then they get over it."
Of the Oastler-Leadbitter poser, Ling said: "I've always wanted Danny to be a threat to Joe. He wasn't in his first year here.
"But this season he's always looked like a different player."
In each of his starts so far, the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie against Yeovil last week and then the Gillingham league game, Leadbitter has had to pass tests of his determination.
The former Newcastle United trainee endured a rocky opening against Yeovil and then bumped into Brian Saah to hand Gills' striker Deon Burton the opening goal this week.
But on each occasion Leadbitter, who is blessed with exceptional pace, has responded well, and it is a question of whether that will be enough to keep out Oastler's more solid CV.
Everyone has been talking about the importance of United following up the Gillingham victory and delivering back-to-back wins for the first time since last March.
"It's not just back-to-back wins, I'd like to go on a run of three or four wins," said Ling.
"We were frustrated when we kept drawing too many games, yet we've been better off points-wise being good and bad than we were being average. We may have been better off being hot and cold, but I'd like us to be a bit hotter."
Ling knows that Morecambe, who are often more dangerous away from home than at their own Globe Arena, are no pushovers.
"Their last five games have been a decent spell," he said.
"The way this division is at the moment, there will be teams in 16th place who will think they are right in the race, and rightly so.
"We can definitely be in the mix. When we put our best foot forward, we are a match for anyone in this league. We just need to do it on a more regular basis."
United have no new injuries worries, so Ling has a 22-man squad to pick from.
Morecambe, under their former centre-half Jim Bentley, have lost two men to suspension – goalscoring winger Kevin Ellison and on-loan Crawley centre-forward Richard Brodie.
But Tuesday's 2-1 loss at Rotherham was their first defeat in five games, their defence and midfield is packed with experience and they have a pacy young striker in Jack Redshaw, who is starting to attract scouts from higher levels.
Torquay United (from): Poke, Rice; Oastler, Leadbitter, Saah, Downes, Nicholson, Mansell, Craig, Lathrope, Bodin, Howe, Stevens, Jarvis, Easton, Cruise, Thompson, Yeoman, McKenzie, Halpin, Baker, Artemi.
Unavailable: Morris (Achilles tendon), Macklin (broken metatarsal).