UPDATED: Former Scunthorpe United boss Alan Knill takes charge at Torquay United
FORMER Scunthorpe United boss Alan Knill has been placed in charge of League Two Torquay United until the end of the season.
Gulls manager Martin Ling is currently on sick leave and chairman Simon Baker has been looking for someone to bring in on an interim basis to assist number two Shaun Taylor.
Knill watched Torquay, who are just five points above the relegation zone, fall to a 1-0 defeat at Aldershot on Tuesday night and his position was confirmed this morning.
Chairman Baker said his previous experience at Glanford Park, Bury and Rotherham makes Knill the right man to keep the club up.
“Alan was suggested to us by some people in the football industry,’’ he said. ‘’We had drawn up a shortlist and we checked up on Alan with people he had worked with, and they all gave him a glowing reference.
“We met him at Aldershot yesterday and we are delighted he has decided to come in and help us. He comes across as a very agreeable man but there is an edge of steel in him, which is what we need.
“He also has very good contacts and during his time with Bury, he built up a good relationship with Manchester United and Everton. It would be no surprise to see some loan players come in to help us out.
“He is an experienced League Two manager and the Board will do everything we can to keep this club in the Football League.
“Alan knows that and he has our support to do whatever is required, which will include new loan signings if necessary.”
Knill’s first game is at home to second-placed Port Vale on Saturday, when he will look to halt a run of five straight defeats.
The 48-year-old was given the boot by Scunthorpe in October after a run of seven games without a win and following a poor start to the season.
Baker has made clear the appointment will only be until the end of the season as Ling is ‘making progress’ with his recovery from illness.
He said last week: “We are trying to find someone to assist Shaun from a management point of view.
“Shaun’s a great coach and works extremely well with the players but has never been a manager before.
“We’re looking for someone to come in who will assist him and will help to look for more loan players if we need some on that front.
“He will only be here only till the end of the season - this is not a replacement for Martin.”