LEADING SCORER Rene Howe is poised to return to Torquay United's attack confident that the best is yet to come from Martin Ling's Gulls.
United's ten-goal centre-forward had last weekend off with a one-match suspension, as his teammates drew 0-0 at Oxford United.
It was the third successive match in which United have failed to hit the net.
But Howe, who is expected to lead the attack against Southend United at Plainmoor this Saturday (3pm), insisted: "The last couple of games may not have gone for us, and we need to turn the luck in our favour.
"But we're still eighth in the table, and we've not played to our best yet.
"I think that's a positive, because we know there's more to come from us.
"Once we get the ball rolling our way, we'll be fine, I'm confident about that."
Howe himself has gone four games without a goal, since equalling a club record of scoring in seven successive league matches.
But he said: "I feel I've been playing good football.
"The replay showed that a goal that was disallowed in the (FA) Cup-tie against Harrogate was onside.
"I'm 100 per cent fit and good to go again."
Howe – Ling said he was "a big miss" at Oxford – added: "I'm really looking to the Southend game.
"We owe them one in a way – they held us here 0-0 near the end of last season, and that result helped them get into the Play-Offs and hurt our automatic (promotion) chances.
"They're just behind us again, and it should be a good game."
Howe, 26, made good use of his enforced absence last weekend.
He and his partner Debora Whitham – they are expecting a baby daughter next month – supported a strong family connection by attending a charity ball in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in aid of the NSPCC.
United manager Ling will wait on a fitness-test for Michael Poke (groin) before deciding who plays in goal against Southend.
Poke was due to resume training today, but he must prove that he is in shape to oust Martin Rice.
Rice made his first Football League start at the age of 26 and kept a 'clean sheet' in the goalless draw at Oxford.
United, trying to find new ways to boost attendances, are launching their new 'Family Ticket' this weekend – four adults and two children can sit in the Family Stand for £30.