Torquay United's Shaun Taylor grateful for brief chat with Martin Ling
Assistant manager Shaun Taylor revealed that he has spoken to unwell manager Martin Ling since Torquay United’s 3-1 home defeat by Rotherham United at Plainmoor on Tuesday night.
Taylor was unable to shed any new light on the nature of the condition which has laid Ling low for nearly three weeks and is expected to keep him away from the club for the foreseeable future.
He reported: “Martin didn’t sound great, but he was able to come to the phone.
“We had a good chat, including football questions, and it was good to have a sounding-board talk with him.
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“Martin isn’t going to be back sooner than later.
“I still feel that I am looking after his team, and I’ve not made drastic changes because I’ve felt that I haven’t had to make them.
“But we’re not winning games and we didn’t score from open play against Fleetwood or Rotherham.
“We do need to change that, so a change or two is possible at Rochdale on Saturday.”
One will surely be the return of centre-forward and leading scorer Rene Howe after a two-match suspension.
In Ling’s absence, United have already announced that they are looking to enlist a man with “managerial experience” to help Taylor and his small back-room staff. There will not be a shortage of candidates for that role.
Chairman Simon Baker has also issued a rallying call as United, who have won only once in ten games, try to pull themselves through a difficult position, on and off the pitch.
“Shaun Taylor has stepped into the breach, and we are extremely grateful for his professionalism and commitment in such trying circumstances,” said Baker.
“We are working to find an individual with managerial experience to help Shaun with the running of the team, and I can promise that the board of directors will do everything within our power to help keep our club away from the danger zone in League Two. I truly believe that the wins will come again.
“We have enough quality and energy to be a force in this division, a fact many of these players have proven to be true on numerous occasions over the last few seasons.
“Now is the time to really get behind the team, stay positive in your support and together we will come out the other side as a stronger football club.”
United announced on Wednesday that Ling was receiving ‘specialist care’ for a ‘debilitating illness’.
Baker added: “We have been overwhelmed with the goodwill messages for Martin and on behalf of Martin, I would like to thank you all for your kind words.”