Belief on BT for the Gulls
- Credit: Dave Crawford/PPAUK
‘Belief', especially in the wake of a disappointing defeat at Boreham Wood in midweek, is the key ingredient for manager Gary Johnson as Torquay United prepare to take on another in-form side, Bromley, and their very in-form striker Michael Cheek in front the BT Sport cameras at Hayes Lane on Saturday (3pm).
The Gulls showed in spells at Wood (0-2) that they were capable of beating a team which now stands second in the National League, but they allowed canny opponents to stifle them and the timing of goals just before and after half-time was decisive.
Bromley made the Play-Offs last season, beaten by Hartlepool at the 'Quarter-Final' stage, and they are currently sixth with two games in hand on all the teams above them.
Yet victory for Torquay would leave United only two points behind Mark Woodman's side.
"They were thereabouts last year, and they have a good, strong, experienced side who work well on their (3G) pitch," said Johnson.
"We have got to break down a solid defence, but if we play our game as we know we can, we can score goals against anyone.
"You have to go into these games believing that you've got the players and the plan to win the game."
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United, who won 2-1 in Kent early last season with a spectacular Adam Randell goal and a late Danny Wright penalty, are not thought to have any new injury concerns.
Even without Wright and winger Alex Addai, Johnson has options in all departments if he wants to use them.
Bromley have started the season nearly as well as Boreham Wood - Wood are the only team to beat them at Hayes Lane - and they go into this game on the back of four successive wins.
They are the only side to beat leaders Grimsby (3-1) so far.
Their side is full of proven NL performers - Mark Cousins in goal, Chris Bush, Byron Webster, Joe Partington in defence, Billy Bingham and Corey Whitely in midfield and Cheek up front.
Cheek, now 30, has been a consistent 20 goal-a-season man most of his career, but he has never ventured outside the South-East (Heybridge Swifts, Chelmsford, Braintree, Dagenham, Ebbsfleet, Bromley) and no EFL club has ever tempted him to go higher.
Still, eight goals in eight games this season is bettered only by Kabby Tshimanga at Chesterfield and is a 'hot' streak by any standards.
Saturday's referee is Garreth Rhodes from North Yorkshire.