No play-off preference for Torquay United

Torbay Weekly

Torquay United manager Gary Johnson insists that he has no preferences over who the Gulls might meet in the National League Play-Offs.

While runners-up United sit out Saturday's Elimination Round, Notts County and Chesterfield meet at Meadow Lane to decide who travels to Plainmoor a week later, June 12.

Twenty-four hours later Hartlepool United take on Bromley for the right to travel to Stockport County (June 13).

In ten league games against those rivals, the only team to have beaten the Gulls is Hartlepool United, who won at Plainmoor after being routed 5-0 at Victoria Park.

But Johnson, a veteran of Play-Off matches, says: "Normally I do have a preference, but I really don't mind this time.

"Notts County are probably favourites against Chesterfield - we beat Chesterfield twice, although they were both close games, and we drew with Notts twice.

"With all the clubs in the last-six, you can't really put your finger on any of them.

"It will be on the day, and who gets it right, in all the games."

Torquay's squad may 'sit out' this weekend's action, but they will be far from inactive.

They have trained twice at Plainmoor this week, and they will be back there on Saturday for a behind-closed-doors practice match in the morning, and lunch in the club restaurant before watching TV coverage of the Notts-v-Chesterfield match.

"The pitch is in great condition, we wouldn't have used it if we were going to cut it up, but our groundsman Julian (Gouldthorpe) has been really helpful and it's been good to train there," said Johnson.

"We've still got a lot of work to do, but we've got the time to do it."

Missing this weekend, as he was for last Saturday's 0-0 draw at Altrincham, will be on-loan Sunderland striker Benji Kimpioka, who is between games for the Sweden Under-21 side.

But Kimpioka will be back next midweek to join the build-up to the PO Semi.

United still have some injured players - Johnson will give nothing away about any of their prospects of regaining fitness at this late stage - but he did add: "All of them are in the meetings and the team talks, and all of them watch training.

"So they wouldn't be going into something that would be a shock to them if they did make a miraculous recovery."