English League 2

Knill happy to be settled

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Tue, 14 May 2013 12:53:00

Alan Knill believes his nine-week stint in charge of Torquay will stand him in good stead as he begins planning for next season.

The former Bury boss was unveiled as the permanent replacement for Martin Ling last week after the club terminated the contract of their manager, who had been absent on sick leave since January.

In Ling's absence Knill helped drag the Gulls to safety and he believes that time at the helm will help as he looks to reshape the squad this summer.

"It is different because usually when you become the manager you take over cold but I've had a trial period and I enjoyed it a lot," said Knill.

"It is a big plus. Although I have to say because of the time of the season it makes it quite difficult as well, you build a relationship with people and unfortunately football evolves quickly and you have to make decisions on people's careers.

"Fortunately I had nine weeks to look at them and while I was working with the players I wasn't really looking at them as careers, I was looking at them as 'can we get the players to play to keep us in the league?'

"Obviously that changed and now we have to make those decisions. So it is difficult but definitely beneficial having had nine weeks to work with them."

Losing play-off semi-finalists in 2011/12, Torquay's Football League survival bid went down to the final day and the new man in charge says it is crucial that the club do not end up in that situation next time round.

"Our goal is to improve on last season,"

said Knill. "I was only here for nine weeks and it was important that we finished well because you want to start the season well and with everyone in a positive frame of mind.

"It is important that we try and portray ourselves as a club that is going to move forward and whenever I speak to players I say I have come to be ambitious."

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