Gary Johnson's priority is turning new-look squad into winning side as quickly as possible

Torbay Weekly

The prospect of facing three recent ex-Torquay United players is the last thing on the mind of manager Gary Johnson ahead of the Gulls' second game of the National League season at Notts County tomorrow.

Defender Kyle Cameron and winger Aaron Nemane both moved from Plainmoor to Meadow Lane this summer, and so did former United loan midfielder Frank Vincent from AFC Bournemouth.

Nemane was injured, but Cameron played well in United's 4-2 play-off semi-final win over County in June.

But, when asked to comment on Cameron for one, Johnson said: "I understand the question, but Kyle is a Notts County player, and I don't want to talk about other clubs' players."

After that opening-day 3-1 home loss to Altrincham, Johnson's priority is turning his own new-look squad into a winning side as quickly as possible.

"Every day that we spend together brings the boys closer together, not just in personality but in their game," he said.

"But what you need is a win pretty quick, because that gives you the belief and the confidence to go on.

"A game like this does show you where you are, and it gives you an opportunity against one of the (promotion) favourites, to put your game on them and hope that they don't particularly do it to you."

United sustained no new injuries against Altrincham, but two names may be uppermost in Johnson's selection thoughts now - Asa Hall and Connor Lemonheigh-Evans.

Skipper Hall, who did not appear during pre-season, visibly boosted United's midfield in a 20-minute substitute appearance last Saturday.

Player Of The Year Lemonheigh-Evans has also been out with a knee problem, but Johnson has hinted that he may be back for a 'double-header' bank holiday weekend which also includes Woking at Plainmoor on Monday (3pm).

Meadow Lane was the scene of the biggest crowd ever to watch Torquay in a league game (43,456) as County closed in on the old Third Division South title in April 1950, and United have managed to win there only twice in 23 league and cup attempts.

Notts fans have been cheered by their determined close-season recruitment, including the ex-Gulls trio and striker Kairo Mitchell from Chesterfield, but one player who may hold the key to their promotion chances was already on the roster.

Signed from Blyth Spartans 18 months ago, former Newcastle United player Callum Roberts is a gifted attacking midfielder with an eye for goal and a telling pass.

County opened with a 5-0 win at Barnet, although the Bees did have a man sent off at The Hive, and after meeting the Gulls at home, they travel to big-spending Wrexham on Monday.

Stockport County, maybe the biggest spenders of all, lost at home to Dagenham & Redbridge last weekend and now face a trip to relegated Southend.

Torquay play at Notts County tomorrow, Saturday August 28, with kick off at 3pm.