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League Two

Sammy McIlroy's Blog 7

3 October 2012

You just can't beat a good old fashioned comeback. I enjoyed many in my playing days and a few as a manager too, so Martin Ling and his Torquay United players will be buzzing ahead of the weekend, after bouncing back from a 3-0 deficit to beat Aldershot Town 4-3.

I'm not sure if I can put my finger on the exact science behind it, but when you've been in the game a few years you can just smell it. Something tells you that all is not lost, and that the impossible could be very possible, and I reckon the Gulls must have felt that magic ingredient on Tuesday night.

When I was manager at Macclesfield Town I never thought we were beaten. We were just one of those sides that would never lie down and accept defeat, even when we got off to poor starts in games. I lost count of the times I told the players at half-time that we'd retrieve the situation and more often than not that group of lads did.

It all comes down to belief. If you have confidence in yourself and your team-mates you won't ever think the points have slipped away. Coming back from 3-0 down to win 4-3 is still a very special achievement though, and it might just lift Torquay out of the slumber they have been in. It could be a game-changer for them.

Morecambe will have woken up on Wednesday morning with a rare feeling; that warm glow that only a home victory brings. Remarkably, before beating Chesterfield 2-0, my old club hadn't tasted success at the Globe Arena since March.

When I was boss there, we suffered something similar and I think it's fair to say that ever since the club moved in it's hardly been a fortress. Regrettably, I do see it as a white elephant. The ground has brought doom and gloom and it must be really upsetting for all concerned.

I understand the reasons for building the ground, and I see all the positives it brings to the wider community, but it's not been a happy place to be. With just 1,200 or so hardy souls turning up on Tuesday I think that figure tells its own story. The side needs more backing, but to do it they have to win games at home.

It's easy to reminisce about the old days but when I think about Christie Park, it was such a difficult place for opposition teams to play. I'd often stand in the tunnel area when visiting sides arrived and almost always you'd hear moans and groans about the poky dressing rooms, the bumpy warm-up pitch behind the stand, and about how horrible the ground was, but it all played to Morecambe's advantage. We were one goal up most weeks just because no one fancied it.

The new stadium is lovely, it's immaculate, and it's comfortable for both teams and I think it's backfiring for the club. That said, I hope this win is the first of many more, and a change of luck at the Globe Arena.

Who'd have thought 37-year-old Jamie Cureton would be leading the division's goal charts in October? We all know this boy can score but at his age, and after the frustrating time he endured at Leyton Orient last season, most observers thought his best days might have been behind him.

Jamie's bagged nine goals already and looks as sharp in front of goal as ever, and Exeter City must be feeling pretty pleased they got him back for 2012/13.

If I had a veteran striker like him, I'd wrap him in cotton wool as much as I could. You have to look after prize assets like Jamie Cureton carefully and if that means giving them special treatment - extra days off and lighter training sessions - then so be it.

Dressing rooms respect players like Jamie Cureton and from my experience would have no problems with a manager making exceptions for him, because if he is doing the business on the pitch everyone benefits. At 37, he genuinely doesn't need to train every day.

As long as the form is good and there's no big time Charlie attitude, it's okay to treat certain players differently from the rest, so that they stay fresh for the matches.

I have no idea if this is what Paul Tisdale is doing, but whatever he's doing, he should keep it up. Jamie Cureton and Exeter City appear to be a perfect match.

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