Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Job's a Good 'Un, but Heed Have Another to Do - Mills

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Job's a Good 'Un, but Heed Have Another to Do - Mills

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Brown Sports Writer

ELEVEN days ago, Gary Mills' Guinness went down a treat.

The morning after the night before, blissfully hangover-free but with Gateshead in their first-ever Skrill Premier Play-Off final, against Cambridge United at Wembley - first time too - he got back to business.

After all, there remains one job to be done, and Mills has warned his players any lack of focus from here on in will cost them a run-out under the Arch.

By now, the Heed's tale requires little telling.

Forever in the shadow of St James' Park, in and out of business multiple times and voted out of the Football League in 1960.

Then came Graham Wood. Ian Bogie. The Conference. Full-time professionalism and, last September, Mills. The final piece in the jigsaw? Time may tell but the signs so far have been good ones.

Sixth-bottom when he arrived at the International Stadium, third-top come regular-season's end. Unbeaten in 12.

P40 W21 D12 L7. Then came Grimsby Town, 8,500 (Graham Wood has confirmed that the official 8,144 attendance given on the day omitted a few), one humdinger of a day and, by all accounts, an evening to match.

But these are not laurels Mills will rest on.

"Listen, it was a fantastic day," he said.

"One thing I have learned over the years is that if you don't celebrate, there's something wrong. You work hard, and when you get days like that you have to celebrate.

"So myself and Cask (assistant manager Darren Caskey), the chairman (Wood) and the directors went and had a few beers.

"The Guinness tasted absolutely beautiful. I don't really do hangovers so I wasn't too bad the next day.

"So I enjoyed it, and I told the players to enjoy it [they did].

"But when we came back in on the Wednesday, that was gone and we now have to go and prepare for the next one."

The Heed are understood to have sold around 7,000 tickets so far, with 1,500 booked onto almost 30 coaches. They hope for 10,000 come Sunday.

Mills added: "When you get to Wembley, there's a lot of things to sort out. "It can quite easily take away why we're going there. …

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