Torquay United ready to give Niall Thompson his debut

Niall Thompson

Torquay United manager Martin Ling says teenage winger Niall Thompson might make his league debut against Rochdale as the club's injury problems deepen.

The Gulls have lost Lloyd Macklin for at least a month with a knee injury while Damon Lathrope and Danny Stevens will also miss the match.

It means the 18-year-old, who signed professional terms this summer, may play on the right of midfield.

"It maybe the case that he's got to play the 90 minutes," Ling said.

"In pre-season he did nothing wrong, whenever he went on the pitch he certainly excites, I look at him this year as an impact sub," Ling added to BBC Sport.

Ling, who has said that he could go into the loan market to supplement his squad, says he wants to give his home-grown players a chance to impress him first.

"If you run a youth structure at a football club you run it for a reason, and that's to fetch players through and give them a chance.

"I would rather look at my own first to see if the answer's within the building before I start taking young players on loan from other clubs.

"If we go into the game and it doesn't happen then we might have to think about a forward-thinking player on loan," Ling added.

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