Armani Little back firing for Torquay United
- Credit: Dave Crawford/PPAUK
Few of his players pleased manager Gary Johnson more than Armani Little as Torquay United gave their sagging confidence a boost with Saturday's 1-0 win over King's Lynn Town, and the Gulls' attacking midfielder could have another important role to play against Solihull Moors at Plainmoor on Tuesday night (7pm).
Little has had to fight his way back from a series of hamstring-related injuries, as have several of his teammates with other issues, but he lasted 90 minutes at the weekend before being taken off.
"We've had to game-manage Armani over the last few weeks, because of the amount of injuries he's had," said Johnson.
"It's tough to ease back in when you haven't got reserve games or friendlies.
"But you've got to play someone with that quality, and it's by playing games that Armani is going to get his best form back.
"Saturday showed that he's 90-minutes fit - you could tell by the look on his face afterwards that it was another big step forward for him - and hopefully he can keep going now."
United suffered no new injuries from the win over the Linnets, and several of their current absentees - Danny Wright, Dean Moxey, Kyle Cameron, Aaron Nemane and Ben Whitfield - are back running now.
- 1 Exeter Chiefs replace Native-American brand with nod to Devon's history
- 2 Can you help free the Rowcroft Six - or shall we let them stay where they are?
- 3 Johnson promised cash to 'build bigger, stronger squad'
- 4 New singers welcome as Torbay Gilbert and Sullivan Society start The Mikado rehearsals
- 5 Hero awards finalist Chris has that spark which makes him extra special!
- 6 From trawler to plate in a day - chef Mitch Tonks bringing Brixham fish straight to customers' doors
- 7 Frying high after 40 years - and raising thousands for charity
- 8 Lift off for Air Show but what about Red Arrows?
- 9 Teams work round clock to dismantle old railway bridge
- 10 Inside Oldway Mansion and a journey through its history
United's 2-1 victory over Moors last month was achieved into a strong wind in the second half, and since then former Cheltenham and Kidderminster manager Mark Yates has taken over from Jimmy Shan.
Johnson stresses: "If we've learned one thing this season, just because you've beaten somebody previously, it doesn't mean that you're sure to do it again.
"They've started off with a couple of narrow defeats under Mark, but they might have won at least one of those games, and we'll see how he sorts them out.
"I know our supporters are a bit worried at 0-0 or 1-0, and I am too on the touchline.
"But our game-plan went well against King's Lynn, all the players put in a real shift and we must maintain those levels."
Solihull had nearly as many injuries as United when the teams met at Damson Park, but they have one or two back now, including ex-Gulls and Northern Ireland star Jamie Ward to play alongside Adam Rooney (Aberdeen, Salford) up front.
Yates has also brought in a pacy new winger in Ryan Barnett on loan from Shrewsbury Town.
The next few days should certainly see some chopping and changing around United near the top of the table.
Tuesday night fixtures see leaders Sutton go to local rivals Bromley, Hartlepool make the long trip to Dagenham, Stockport entertain Eastleigh and Yeovil are at home to Notts County, three days after the Magpies won the reverse fixture 2-0 at Meadow Lane.
Then, on Saturday there are several 'tasty' ones - Halifax (8)-v-Sutton (1), Stockport (4)-v-Hartlepool (2) and Wrexham (5)-v-Bromley (7).