Sinclair back with the Gulls

Joseph Bulmer

Pace may not be everything in football, but it always helps and the return of Sinclair Armstrong gives Torquay United manager Gary Johnson important new options in the attacking department when the Gulls take on Barnet at The Hive on Saturday (3pm).

Armstrong, the 18-year-old loan striker from Queen's Park Rangers, was claimed by international duty with Eire Under-19s after his first two appearances for Torquay, including a stand-out debut against King's Lynn Town (2-0).

But a long day on Wednesday - two flights from Bulgaria to Luton and a couple of train connections - brought him back to Torquay in time for training on Thursday.

The teenager is mature beyond his years, mentally as well as physically, and he is raring to get back to his day job after helping the Republic through to the Elite Qualifying round of next year's Euro U19 Championships.

His availability could be even more timely, because experienced striker Dan Holman jarred his right knee in last Saturday's 2-1 win over Dover - it's not believed to be a serious problem, but he may be a doubt this weekend, along with midfielder Chiori Johnson (hamstring).

Attacking left-back Dan Martin is back after a three-match suspension, and United also hope to have key midfielder Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, missing for family reasons last weekend, available this time.

Having re-established home form - four successive wins at Plainmoor - manager Johnson says: "We needed to sort that out from the start of the season (defeats by Altrincham, Woking, Grimsby).

"To do that, we had to be a little less expansive, be a bit more solid, and that's helped us at home.

"Now we need to go and find that sort of form away from home.

"In our last eight games we are sixth in the 'form-table', but we need to start climbing the league."

Barnet, two points behind Torquay (14th), have got through managers like peas in a pie shop - former boss Dean Brennan, now officially 'caretaker', is the sixth man to take the reins in the last 15 months.

They are searching for some consistency after a wretched start - two points out of the first 21 - but any side that can go to Stockport and win 2-1 has something about them.

The Bees also have plenty of been-here done-it performers, like defender Jamie Turley, midfielders Mitch Brundle and Harry Taylor and forwards Adam Marriott, Mason Bloomfield and the pacy Ephron Mason-Clark.

Barnet have had to postpone the ceremonial side of a planned 'Legends Day' on Saturday, but they are honouring a cut-price admission offer of £10, which will make for a cheaper day for the hundreds of Torquay fans who always attend this fixture.