Torquay United player-manager Kevin Nicholson was full of pride after watching his team beat Southport 2-1 and take an important three points back to Devon.
United are now out of the bottom four in the National League and looking forward to taking on Tranmere at Plainmoor on Tuesday night (kick-off 7:45pm)
“It was massive before the game to get three points,” said Nicholson.
“We had a team meeting last night and I asked those lads to show me that they have got my back. I have always got their back – always will have. I signed them; I want them to do well. I want them to be successful now and be successful in the future.
“Yes, we have had some poor results this season and we have had some poor performances but you can’t take away that when the lads are at it, they can play.
“It is touch and go now with all the stuff that is going on and I asked them to make sure that they could it for me really. It is the first time I have ever asked that, and for them to go for 90 minutes and to go and do what they did at the very end – I don’t know the words to use really. I am so delighted for them with the work they have put in, and so happy that we might be able to keep one or two people quiet that have been coming for us.
“We believe. We believe we can get it done and we’ll keep going until that is achieved.
In a game that understandably lacked cohesion, United created two goals of real quality.
“Sparkesy [Dan Sparkes] looked like he was running it back to Liverpool but somehow he’s got some unbelievable cross in and a great finish on his weaker foot from ‘Youngy’ [Luke Young]. I expected us to kick on from there but in fairness to Southport they didn’t cave, they dug in a little bit.
“To start the second half, we were all up for a good start, for him [Jim Stevenson, Southport] to strike one as well as he struck it from a good thirty yards. I think sometimes you have to just hold your hands up. Brendan couldn’t really get near that one. He hit it before anyone could really react. I’ll probably just have to say that’s not a bad goal.
Striker Ruairi Keating couldn’t have picked a better moment for him to score his first goal competitive goal in England, and earn United all three points.
“To have the energy – Sparkesy breaks like he did. Ruairi Keating has been ill for a couple of days so I was a bit wary of putting him on or not, but we had to go for the win. What a great finish from the lad under a lot of pressure. He nearly scored just before that with his head. I’m delighted for him because it is his maiden goal in this country. I am totally delighted for all of the lads.