MANAGER Alan Knill asked a section of the Plainmoor crowd to be a little more patient after Torquay United were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw against goalless Hartlepool United at Plainmoor on Saturday.
“I have to say that there’s more positives than negatives for me to take out of that performance,” said Knill. “And, if someone had said to me before the start of the season that we’d lose only one of our first five games and be above a team like Portsmouth, I’d have taken that.
“Obviously, we wanted the three points. We dominated from start to finish, but didn’t have the final bit to finish it off.
“You hear moans and groans, and you understand why people are frustrated, but sometimes it’s hard to accept.
“I heard one guy shout: ‘Sign a striker!’ Well, we’d all love to be paying all sorts of money, but we’re not going to put the club in any danger.
“This is such a new team, and I’m delighted with the group of players I’ve got and with their application.
“I believe there has been an improvement from the first game of the season to now, and the next job is to improve again over the next month and so on.
“We’re trying to teach and develop quite a few young players, and they aren’t always going to get it right.”
Knill added: “We hadn’t started other games well, but we did start this game really well.
“If you score a goal, the opposition has to come out, but we didn’t.”
Knill added: “It’s becoming more and more difficult to win at home, because teams do what Hartlepool did today – and I’m not having a go at them for that.
“It’s difficult to get the ball forward if there are ten men behind the ball, but I thought we did try to bring them out.
“We had plenty of chances – Chappy [Jordan Chapell] and Billy [Bodin] should both have scored. On another day, the luck goes with you and you score four or five.
“We created more chances than in any of the other games so far, and that a massive positive for me.”
Knill picked out Krystian Pearce and Aaron Downes for praise, saying: “Both our centre-halves were strong and dominant.
“I also thought Callum Ball was excellent and tried to make things happen. He’s getting better.”
Knill added that he took hard-working striker Karl Hawley off near the end to guard against a niggling hamstring problem.
Portsmouth at home in the Football League Trophy tomorrow night is next on the agenda, and Knill said: “We might make one or two changes, but there won’t be many, mainly because the rules don’t let you.”
Hartlepool boss Colin Cooper said: “We had to defend our box a hell of a lot, and I’m pleased with the way we did that.
“My real disappointment is that we haven’t created very much.”