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Torquay United coach Shaun Taylor happy to take control of the reins and do things his way

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 08, 2013

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Shaun Taylor makes no apologies for maintaining a steady-as-she-goes approach to leading Torquay United in the continued absence of ill manager Martin Ling.

Taylor is preparing to take the Gulls into his third match in charge, against Fleetwood Town at Plainmoor tomorrow, while Ling continues to rest at his home with his family in Hertfordshire.

The former Exeter City, Swindon Town and Bristol City centre-half picked up the reins at short notice when Ling was taken ill just before last Monday's Devon derby at St James' Park.

United won 1-0 there, before going down 2-1 at Cheltenham Town last weekend, and Taylor now faces the job of trying to push through a hoped-for loan signing some time today, as well as tackling a crowded fixture list which will see the club play eight games in 29 days by March 2.

"When you lose the main member of your staff, of course it leaves a big gap, and we're not sure how long Martin is going to be away," said Taylor.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say it has been difficult, but it's also enjoyable.

"Where Martin and I are concerned, you're talking about two people thinking along similar lines, probably picking the same team, but not sure about all the substitutes, maybe.

"I don't think I need to change anything major. I've got people around me, and I will ask their opinion and appreciate the answers.

"What did Brian Clough say – 'I do listen to advice and then decide I was right all along'. Well, that's not me, really."

Ling's illness has meant that Taylor has also taken on the key calls to managers and agents in United's search for a forward to cover for the two-match suspension of leading scorer Rene Howe.

The loan transfer 'window' has reopened, and the Gulls would like to strengthen their squad before kick-off against Fleetwood. "I've spoken to a lot of people, and we're at a stage where we're still pursuing several leads," said Taylor.

One possible target, Bournemouth striker Jayden Stockley, has just extended his loan with non-League side Woking.

On the future of Richard Logan, who is training with the Gulls, Taylor reported that the former Exeter City centre-forward is still nursing a calf strain picked up at the end of last week.

Winger Billy Bodin emerged unscathed from 70 minutes helping Wales' Under-21 side to beat Iceland 3-0 at Llanelli on Wednesday, so he will rejoin United's squad today.

Skipper Lee Mansell, who has just been voted United's player of the month for January, and December winner Michael Poke, will both receive their awards before kick-off against Fleetwood tomorrow.

United's back-room staff will be two men down from today, as the club's video analyst Lee Dunn is leaving to join top-flight club Everton.

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