Torquay United's Eunan O'Kane focused on play-offs and not speculation
Torquay United manager Martin Ling has brushed aside transfer speculation surrounding Eunan O'Kane, and pointed his talented young playmaker towards the priority of winning the npower League Two play-offs.
O'Kane is believed to interest several clubs, and the latest link has been with Westcountry rivals and new divisional champions, Swindon Town.
It is not the first time that the 21-year-old Ulsterman has been targeted, even though he still has two years on his current contract to run.
"Eunan has got a big job to do for us over the next three games, and that's all he's concentrating on," said Ling.
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"I'm sure he's one of many of our players who have caught the eye this season, but that's as far as it goes.
"There's been no contact to me from Swindon Town, or anyone else.
"Clubs are looking at players everywhere with a view to next season, and you always get this sort of talk at this time of year."
Ling saw the current speculation coming as early as last autumn, and he persuaded the former Everton prospect to sign a two-year contract extension then.
Ling, who was similarly built and had a similar style as a player, has mentored O'Kane's development this season, something which O'Kane has readily admitted.
The County Londonderry-born midfielder has declined to comment.
Striker Rene Howe and right-back Joe Oastler sat out training yesterday, as the rest of Torquay's side started to prepare for Sunday's play-off semi-final first leg away to Cheltenham Town, which kicks off at mid-day.
United are confident that Oastler will be fine and hopeful that Howe, who is nursing a groin strain, will make it for the trip to Whaddon Road.
Ling is prepared to rest leading scorer Howe, who has also managed to shake off a knee problem recently, all week if necessary.
Crewe Alexandra and Paul Sturrock's Southend United meet in the first leg of the other semi-final on Saturday at Gresty Road.
Bookies Paddy Power make Southend and Torquay favourites to reach the final. The Shrimpers are 2/1 to win promotion and the Gulls 5/2.
They have United's semi-final opponents Cheltenham Town at 13/10 to win Sunday's first leg, but 7/2 outsiders to go on and win at Wembley.
Meanwhile, Torquay fans are being asked not to take large flags to Sunday's first leg at Whaddon Road.
The Robins are keen to point out that space will be at a premium for the match.