Iron manager Russ Wilcox knew the importance of not underestimating struggling Torquay United prior to Saturday’s 1-0 win at Plainmoor.The Gulls went into the game firmly rooted to the bottom of League Two and seven points from safety having suffered three defeats in succession.
In contrast, United entered the contest unbeaten in 24 matches as they look to complete a return to League One at the first time of asking.
On paper, such different fortunes suggested a routine victory for the away side, but the Iron were made to work hard for a valuable win which was eventually sealed by Sam Winnall’s penalty – in addition to goalkeeper Sam Slocombe saving a subsequent spot-kick of Torquay’s own.
However, Wilcox was fully prepared for the committed display by the hosts, and told The Iron Player: “We probably knew what to expect.
“It wasn’t their last throw of the dice, but they’re getting close to the point where they need to start winning football games. I thought they did their manager proud today.
“They were up and at us from the first minute, forcing three corners inside two minutes, and put us on the back-foot.
By winning in Devon, United took another step towards promotion, and Wilcox added: “We had to remain solid.
“I would probably describe it as a gritty performance, but these are the type of games you look back on with pride if you do achieve promotion. We weren’t at our best, we know that, but we’ve come away with a clean sheet and three points.”
See much more from Russ Wilcox, Sam Slocombe and Sam Winnall on The Iron Player.