Only their best is good enough

Gary Johnson, Manager of Torquay United celebrates in the direction of the travelling Torquay United

Gary Johnson, Manager of Torquay United celebrates in the direction of the travelling Torquay United supporters following the Vanarama National League match between Maidenhead United and Torquay United at York Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire on Saturday 4th September 2021 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK - Credit: James Fearn/PPAUK

One win doesn't mean that everything at Plainmoor is suddenly hunky-dory, and nobody is aware of that more than manager Gary Johnson as he takes Torquay United to face early National League leaders Chesterfield in Derbyshire in Saturday's 5.20pm (live BT Sport) kick-off. 

The 'Gary-Time' 1-0 victory over Southend United was a huge relief after three home defeats, but the Spireites on their own patch should give the Gulls a much clearer indication of where they are in the divisional pecking-order at the moment. 

"The lads have learned over the last six or seven games that we've not been consistent enough, and the ability shown has not been good enough to get up there with the Chesterfields," said Johnson. 

"Only your best is good enough at these levels. 

"We will see which ones have taken that on board, and whether they can cope with the game that's in my head, something we work on all the time, physically and mentally. 

"Two wins out of seven isn't good enough. 

"We might lose one or two, or we might go on a good run, but it's not going to stop us looking for other players. 

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"But while we are looking - and we're not going to drag in the first person who walks past our training ground gate - the lads here have the chance to prove themselves." 

Most of United's squad should be used to these live TV games, and the unusual KO times, and they produced a couple of excellent performances in front of the cameras at the end of last season - Stockport away (2-2) and Notts County home (4-2) in the Play-Offs come to mind. 

And, of course, they did the 'double' over Chesterfield last season, including a stylish 2-0 win at the Technique Stadium. 

With midfielder Armani Little available after injury, Johnson has selection options in all departments. 

Will he stick with the reshuffled defence in front of 'new' goalkeeper Shaun MacDonald that earned a first 'clean sheet' against Southend? 

Will he go for a more 'robust' midfield? And will he again opt for Klaidi Lolos' youthful athleticism over the experience and know-how of Dan Holman up front? 

Unbeaten Chesterfield certainly splashed the cash in the summer, and rumours surrounding the fee they paid Boreham Wood for striker Kabby Tshimanga - some put it at more than £200,000 - have been among the talking-points of the division. 

From being down on their proverbial uppers a couple of years ago, the fan-owned Spireites have backed manager James Rowe spectacularly this season, and it's working. 

Tshimanga has already scored seven goals, and they haven't really needed to call on their two most experienced forwards, Danny Rowe and Nathan Tyson. 

But perhaps it's worth pointing out that Chesterfield have played only one team in the top half of the table so far - their schedule has included Aldershot, Wealdstone, King's Lynn, Dover, Barnet and Bromley. 

Although they are not among the early pacesetters, the division's 'match of the day' is probably the meeting of two other big spenders, Stockport County and Wrexham, at Edgeley Park. 

Two clubs which have wasted little time in sacking their managers, Aldershot Town and Barnet, are home to FC Halifax Town and Weymouth respectively. 

The Shots have already replaced Danny Searle with ex-Weymouth and Southend boss Mark Molesley. 

Barnet's next manager, when they name Harry Kewell's successor, will be their sixth in the last 12 months.  Good luck to him…