Midfielder Damon Lathrope says keeping Torquay United in the National League would be “as big as a promotion”.

The Gulls have never gone down from the fifth tier but are a point from safety with five matches remaining.

“You get relegated from this league and you haven’t got far to go – there isn’t much else out there,” Lathrope said.

“It’s a massive club that shouldn’t be in this league, let alone the one below, but it’ll be a disaster for the players, the fans – everything.”

Lathrope, 27, is in his second spell at Torquay and returns to Aldershot, where he played last season, on Saturday.

Asked what it would mean to stay up, he told BBC Radio Devon: “It’d be massive, it’d be as big as a promotion in effect – personally as players, it’s your careers.

“We know the reality of the situation, but we don’t want to start worrying and over-thinking about getting relegated.

“I haven’t given it too much thought yet because I’m fully confident that we’ll do the job.”

Meanwhile, Torquay skipper Courtney Richards will miss the rest of the season after suffering a setback in his recovery from a knee injury.

“I spoke to him and I think he just needs a couple of days to clear his head, lick his wounds and get himself over the fact that that’s the end of him physically contributing,” said Gulls boss Kevin Nicholson.

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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