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Alan Knill unhappy as Oxford take advantage of charitable Torquay United

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: March 11, 2013

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"We can't blame anybody else apart from ourselves, and we're the only ones who can put it right," said manager Alan Knill after Torquay United slid deeper into relegation trouble – they are now only a point ahead of Plymouth Argyle at the bottom – with a fifth successive home defeat, 3-1 to play-offs outsiders Oxford United.

Knill did whisper "Wow!" and draw a deep breath before starting his post-match interview, as he tried to put a brave face on some catastrophic defending and the lack of confidence which cost the Gulls so dear.

He will seek to push through an extension of striker Elliot Benyon's one-month loan from Southend today, even though Benyon will not be able to play against his parent club at Roots Hall next Saturday.

Knill plans to squeeze in a couple more scouting missions, either side of tomorrow night's trip to Dagenham and Redbridge, before making his next moves into the loan transfer market.

He was clearly worried by the way in which Torquay had gone under in the second half against Oxford.

"The two goals in a few minutes at the start of the second half killed us," said Knill. "For the first, a short pass in their half and they're into us with one straight ball. We lost the ball, but it's still got to go a long way before it goes into our net.

"For the second, Aaron Downes should have put it in the stand, tries something different and it's a penalty.

"Aaron then got us back into it, and we still had a chance then.

"But that's the second time in the two home games since I've been here that we've conceded a second goal straight after letting in the first – the same happened against Wycombe [in a 2-1 defeat] – and it's cost us.

"It's plainly obvious that the players are edgy at home, but it doesn't matter whether it's away or home – we have to be better than we were today.

"In bits, we were OK in the first half, but I've not seen us put a whole game together yet.

"It's unbelievably disappointing, but you've just got to get over it and move on quickly."

Of new loan midfielder Joss Labadie, who made his debut, Knill added: "I thought Joss did quite well.

"He got cramp near the end, which is why we brought him off, but he's strong and powerful, and I'm sure he's going to be a good addition."

Oxford manager Chris Wilder was Knill's assistant at Bury five years ago, and the pair have been friends for many years.

Wilder said: "I go back a long way with Alan – he's a class act and an excellent manager, and I know how things can go when teams are on a losing run like Torquay are. But they will get out of it.

"They are going through a few issues, but I don't envisage them going down – they've got too many good players."

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