After two National League wins it is safe to say it has been a good week for manager Kevin Nicholson and his Torquay United side.

An away win at Gateshead last Saturday was quickly followed up by a home win against Chester on Tuesday night.

Those six points were enough to ensure that the Gulls stayed three points clear of Boreham Wood, with the Hertfordshire out occupying the fourth and final relegation spot.

But far from resting on his laurels or indulging in praising his players, Nicholson is focusing on finishing the job of staying in the National League, starting with Saturday’s home game against Tranmere Rovers.

He said “It’s not a case of job done, nowhere near that.

“That is the message I am trying to hammer home, there is no point patting players on the back because we haven’t achieved what we want to achieve yet and that is staying in the National League.

“We have done ok, we were fortunate against Gateshead, we could and should have been 4-0 down at half time.

“Yes, we beat Chester on Tuesday but that should have been to bed before we finished the game off in the ninetieth minute.

“But what we have done on this run is given ourselves a fighting chance, but we have to torquay united badgefinish the job”

Nicholson was open and honest when describing the nature of the National League this season, calling the league “consistently inconsistent”.

And he believes that title favourites and league leaders Cheltenham Town are the side that has shown the most consistency throughout the campaign and challenged his players to emulate the Robins in order to secure survival.

“Every fixture at this level is tricky, you look at Welling going to Tranmere and winning last week for example.

“It is a crazy league and I think the best I can say about the league is that it is consistently inconsistent, anybody can be anybody on the day.

“Cheltenham are top because they are consistent, they hit seven out of ten every week and that wins them more games than anyone else.

“We have got to emulate that and yes, we have taken six points from Gateshead and Chester, but it won’t mean anything if we don’t carry it on against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday”

After their home game with Tranmere, the Gulls have four fixtures left to play.

Home games against Altrincham and Barrow, as well as away trips to Bromley and Guiseley are on the agenda for Nicholson and his players.

Many outsiders are looking towards the fixtures against fellow strugglers Guiseley and Altrincham as the most decisive of the quartet of games.

However Nicholson refutes that suggestion and is sticking by the old football adage of taking each game as it comes.

“People look at Altrincham, Guiseley and our three home games and see them as big games because they are in and around us in the table but I am not looking that far ahead.

“All I am focusing on is Tranmere, that is my priority, it has to be.

“And having three home games left is a bonus because we will have our supporters right behind us. They have kept us going throughout this season.

“They have stuck with us throughout the tough times and that means a lot, they are a privilege to play for.

“Every game is winnable, whether it is home and away, we are taking each game as it comes and hopefully we can repay their support by staying in the National League”

Interview: Mark Carruthers
Images: Patrick Tinkler

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