THE Gulls kick-off their League 2 season at Fleetwood Town on Saturday and the Yellow objective will be to spoil the party.
The game represents a first ever outing in the Football League for big-spending Fleetwood, who romped to the Blue Square Premier title back in May.
It will be a lively atmosphere on the Lancashire coast and United manager Martin Ling understands that his team will need to stand up for the fight, especially after the disappointing 4-0 loss to Leicester in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.
“I don’t think we could have picked a more difficult game to start because they are one of the favourites and it’s their first ever league game,” said Martin.
“We will go up there as the party-poopers and they will be looking for a party. Rightly so, they are now a League club and they’ve done it properly. What I mean by that is they’ve moved through the leagues with financial backing and support.
“Away from home, you expect a scrap and this one will be especially hectic. Some of their players will be making their league debut and the atmosphere will be sent to fever pitch. We go there as the old stagers. We’ve been through it before and know what to expect.
“The wider focus for this game will be on Fleetwood and we will be deemed as a sideshow, but a sideshow trying to spoil the party they are planning.
“We will need to be better than we were against Leicester when there were only two performances with a tick, which were Aaron Downes and Brian Saah. Two more had a question mark in Lee Mansell and Rene Howe, but the other seven had a cross.
“If we do the same at Fleetwood, we won’t win the game. It needs to be better but Leicester were the type of team to make our crosses and question marks look very poor. In League 2, you may get away with it more often.
“I will always give an honest assessment of what has happened in a game. It was disappointing on Tuesday after going through pre-season thinking you’ve ticked all the boxes, but we can’t go over the white line for the players.
“The pleasing fact was the combination of Saah and Downes looked very solid, even though we conceded four goals. We do need to tighten up as a unit and Leicester just looked a step sharper on the night.
“It is done and dusted, and we are filling their heads with positives now. We will put our best foot forward at Fleetwood.”