Head coach Gary Owers has issued a ‘Let’s All Believe’ message to Torquay United fans as the relegation-fighting Gulls face the first of three successive home games against Dagenham & Redbridge at Plainmoor on Saturday.

From an apparently hopeless position – they were bottom of the table and effectively 12 points adrift of safety three games ago – United have taken seven points out of nine and put themselves right back in contention. Owers is convinced that United’s supporters – more than 300 travelled to last weekend’s 2-1 win at Maidenhead United – have a key part to play in a third successive ‘Great Escape’ bid.

“I know what the fans here have been through, and I understand how they’re feeling,” said Owers. “I want them all to believe we’re going to stay up, the same as we and the players do.

“In spite of what people think, I’m quite an emotional person, even though I try not to show it, and the numbers of our fans at Maidenhead and the atmosphere there made me proud. It was great for the players.

“Our results at home are going to be very important between now and the end of the season, and the atmosphere at Plainmoor is key. People have been coming up to me for months and asking ‘Are you going to get relegated?’ I’ve always said ‘No’.

“Now the players are saying ‘We’re going to do it’, and I’m not saying to them ‘Shut Up’. We have hit a bit of form at a good time in the season, but it won’t be plain sailing from here on – there will be setbacks.

“Our job is to keep chipping away at that gap and make sure we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

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