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Odds slashed on Buckle going to Bristol Rovers

By This is Devon  |  Posted: January 03, 2011

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TORQUAY UNITED fans can brace themselves for a busy New Year at Plainmoor, on and off the field.

On the pitch the Gulls are due to play at least seven matches in January, starting with Oxford United at Plainmoor today and continuing with Saturday's FA Cup Third Round tie at home to Carlisle United.

But off it there seems sure to be plenty of action too.

For a start, manager Paul Buckle appears to be one of the leading contenders for the vacant managership of League One Bristol Rovers.

Buckle's odds – he has batted away all speculation on the subject – have been slashed from 8/1 to Evens, and even shorter in some places, to become the successor to the sacked Paul Trollope, his former teammate in Torquay's midfield.

Newport County's Dean Holdsworth is on the shortlist, but it would be something of a surprise if Rovers went for him over Buckle, if only for the relative achievements of the two men.

Other contenders are believed to include current caretaker Darren Patterson, former Crystal Palace, Charlton and QPR boss Iain Dowie, ex-Colchester manager Geraint Williams and former Torquay boss Keith Curle, both once Rovers players.

United's leading scorer Elliot Benyon, who hit his eleventh goal of the campaign in Saturday's 2-2 draw at Hereford, is a wanted man now that the January transfer window is open.

Swindon Town manager Danny Wilson has been trailing Benyon for some time.

But fellow League One club Charlton Athletic are also believed to have joined the gaggle of clubs interested in signing the 23-year-old striker.

At Plainmoor United loanee Romone Rose has returned to QPR.

But Buckle has extended the loan of Wolves winger Ashley Hemmings to the end of the season.

And he confirmed at Hereford that he plans to resolve the futures of two more loanees, Martin Gritton (Chesterfield) and Joe Oastler (QPR) after the Carlisle cup-tie, for which they are both available.

League Two rivals Morecambe are expected to move to turn their loan of Gulls defender Kieran Charnock into a permanent move.

But United, who paid Peterborough £10,000 for Charnock 18 months ago, may want a fee for the centre-back.

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    C-gull, Torquay  |  January 05 2011, 7:15PM

    You guys who critise Paul Buckle have short memories , considering what a state the club was in when he joined united. I not a big fan of 4.5.1. at home, but we played some great football at times in the Oxford game and came close to going 4-3 up ourselves. Carlisle on Saturday !!

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    BRADFORDGULL, BRADFORD  |  January 04 2011, 6:09PM

    Whether or not you agree with all of Paul's tactics and choice of player, you really do need to be realistic! He came at a bad time and did an unbelievable job of getting us back into the league in two seasons. The list of clubs that have not come back in that time is long and a lot of them are considered bigger clubs than us. The main question that all of you getting on his back shouldbe - who is going to come down to the South Coast and be prepared to work on a smaller wage than at most other clubs and definitely with a smaller budget. I would go for Benitez, but I fear he would not be up for the challenge....... Personally, I think we will not do better than the man in charge and I for one hope he stays.

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    William, Goodrington  |  January 04 2011, 2:39PM

    Please Bristol Rovers say YES and put us out of our misery. How Buckle can say he is pleased with the way Torquay are playing and then the results show a steady decline in league position since October, I can't work out. Buckle has never been a good league manager and never will be. Come on Directors be positive

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    ben dover, brockenhurst  |  January 04 2011, 2:05PM

    The last person gasheads want is Buckle but the danger is that our board of muppets do the exact opposite to the fans wishes..

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    goalfar, torquay  |  January 04 2011, 1:30AM

    sir, When he goes I'm glad. For the last 4 years he has whinged about how he rescued tufc . When he came from ecfc, he did'nt have all is coaching badges,& had a blank teamsheet to build a new team He has won nothing outside the league, FA trophy final ,Promotion The unbeaen run was down to Branston

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    Paul Allen, Newton Abbot  |  January 03 2011, 8:27PM

    Right, cards on the table. While I am an avid supporter of Torquay United, other involvement within South Devon football means I rarely get to watch the Gulls. In fact over the last three seasons I have probably watched them more away from Plainmoor than at home. This week Paul Buckle may or may not leave the club for Bristol Rovers, and Elliott Benyon may or may not move on to pastures new, but what I gleaned from watching the defeat to Oxford is that Benyon's success is due to his own quality rather than Buckle's coaching ability. In fact playing him alone upfront for over an hour was extremely poor management by Buckle. Sending the side out with a lone striker and two holding players, especially in a home game, was particularly poor as it allowed Oxford to get a foothold in the game and enabled them to keep two upront for practically the whole of the game. The introduction of Danny Stevens and Billy Kee gave the Oxford defence something else to think about, as well as injecting some much needed enthusiasm into the attack that the team, and the crowd, were desperate for. But why wait to be 3-1 down before making the changes? I don't have too much of a problem with conceding the breakaway goal in stoppage time, as we were looking to win the game and got caught out.....it happens. We lost because we didn't have a right go at them from the off, not because of a goal two minutes from time. I have friends who are Buckle supporters, and others who are not. I even have one who believes he has been a disaster since he walked into the manager's office for the first time! While I don't feel that strongly about the manager's current or future managerial assignments, I do feel that a bigger loss to Torquay United this week could be Elliott Benyon not Paul Buckle.