Torquay United player-manager Kevin Nicholson is gearing up for Saturday’s match against Southport, well aware that the pressure is building on him and his team. United’s last win came against Gateshead at the end of January and the club currently finds itself in one of the relegation places in the National League.
Nicholson held his weekly press call on Thursday and he was asked about Saturday’s result and his future at TUFC.
On TUFC owner Clarke Osborne setting out his expectations for the immediate future:
“GI [Gaming International] have been very, very good to me. I got a call on Monday from Clarke Osborne and he spelt out in no uncertain terms that results aren’t good enough. They would have been well within their rights to have pulled the plug and removed me on Sunday because at the end of the day, regardless of what you think, who your favourite player is, what you think about the tactics – everything is the manager’s fault and that’s how it should be. What they did was they spelled out to me exactly what they expect and this hasn’t been good enough, and then they have backed me.”
On expanding United’s scouting reach:
“They have given me a little bit of extra funding wise to get one or two players in. They have put together a few plans and a few ideas where we can all sit down as a group – Geoff Harrop, my staff, and I are pulling in the right direction.”
On wanting the opportunity to focus on the job:
“The only thing I have always wanted as Torquay United manager is to have the chance to just do the job. To just be the manager and not have to worry about the off-field stuff. To not have to sit in front of you guys talking about how it doesn’t affect the team when most often it does. All I really want to do is just be a football manager. Most of my predecessors have had that luxury, if that is the right word to use. I haven’t quite had that yet.
“I have got a fight on my hands and my players have a fight on their hands to get to that point. What I know is that GI are here now, they have some sound plans and very good ideas on what needs to be done. For me to be a part of that and for me to be able to sit here in the off-season and start planning for a brighter future as such, without any off-field issues, without any worries about whether the club is going to fold or not, without administration looming over you . For me to do that, we need to get the results.
On uniting the fans and putting things right on the pitch:
“Now they [Gaming International] have given me a chance to go out with a few tools to actually do the job – I am very, very grateful for that. Now it is in my hands to try and unite the fans. I think the support I have had in general while I have been here has been fantastic.
“We’ve had weeks now where the results haven’t been right. We’ve promised a lot and haven’t delivered. We have to deliver now.
“Our future is in our hands, starting on Saturday.”
On bringing in new players:
“That was part of my discussion with Clarke and something we are working on. It has been a long week of working on that, together – everyone we know, myself, Dave Hedges, Geoff Harrop, Robbie Herrera.
“What we are searching for right now is that guy that is going to come in, go into the team and lift everybody else. It is never as quick as what you want it to be. You make hundreds of phone calls and you never get quite get the phone calls back as quickly as you’d like. When it happens, it generally happens pretty quick. The group that I have got now, maybe with one or two coming in to strengthen them has got more than enough to beat anyone at this level. They have just got to get out of their own way.”