Town’s second away win of 2013 was a source of satisfaction for manager Graham Alexander
After a pleasing performance, the manager said: “It’s a tough place to come. Torquay played well but I thought we saw it through and on another day we could have scored a couple more – I didn’t see anything wrong with Jean Michel Fontaine’s goal.
“We know that we gave too many opportunities away for us to be completely content, but we came on a very long journey, the lads have prepared exceptionally well and we’ve got a thoroughly deserved 1-0 win. It didn’t pass without a couple of scares here and there, but football is like that.”
Striker Jon Parkin has scored on each of his last six Town appearances but Saturday’s matchwinner was substituted shortly before the interval, having only recently returned from a troublesome hamstring injury.
Alexander said of the striker’s new injury: “We don’t know yet. I just saw him look to the bench and I know that he felt something but nothing major, so we’re going to have to assess that.
“Three goals in three games show he can be a big player for us, but we’ve also got Michel, who can come on and offer that physical presence and hold up play. We’ve got other good supporting strikers as well at the club. If Parky isn’t fit enough to take place in the next game or games after that, then we’ve got players who will get an opportunity and hopefully they’ll take it.”
The 24-year-old Fontaine hails from Réunion, a French island east of Madagascar, and impressed on his first appearance in a Town shirt and could have had a goal to show for it. However, his effort was disallowed following a push on Gulls defender Brian Saah.
Alexander added: “Michel played in a reserve game and trained for a couple of days. We saw enough in that short period to show that he could be an effective player for us. I’m pleased we managed to get his signing through. There was a lot of red tape and so forth because of where he’s from, but we were desperate to get him registered for today because we knew he would have some part to play.
“With Parky, who isn’t up to full match fitness, starting the game, we had a ready-made replacement. I thought Michel did really well and I thought he deserved a goal.”
As Fontaine doesn’t speak English, he relies on Frenchman Youl Mawene to act as makeshift translator.
However, Alexander feels the language barrier doesn’t present too much of a problem for the striker.
“We speak to Youl and he speaks to Michel. To be fair to Michel, we don’t have to explain too many things to him. We just work on certain movements in training and he takes it on board straight away – he’s really good like that.
“He’s obviously got a decent football pedigree and understanding of the game, so it’s something we’ll overcome.
“I’m sure Michel will pick up a few choice English words along the way anyway!”
Town picked up their 14th clean sheet of the season at Plainmoor – the highest number in League Two – and Alexander praised goalkeeper Scott Davies.
“We have some games in which we keep clean sheets and he hardly has anything to do, but on the odd occasion when we have to use him, he’s there. He’s a very good keeper because he works his socks off day in, day out.
“He’s got a great work ethic and he gets the rewards – that’s the only way to get rewards in football – by putting the hard work in.
“But he’s ably supported by the whole team, stopping crosses and stopping shots, but when they do get through we know we’ve got a very good goalkeeper and very good back-up as well.”