Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Heed Stand on Brink of a "Good" Spell, Says Mills; Gateshead Manager Is Confident of a Positive End to the Season for Side

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Heed Stand on Brink of a "Good" Spell, Says Mills; Gateshead Manager Is Confident of a Positive End to the Season for Side

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Brown Sports Writer steve.sports-brown@trinitymirror.com

GARY MILLS is confident Gateshead stand on the brink of a "good last three months of the season".

The Tynesiders take on Wrexham at the International Stadium tonight, in an FA Trophy third-round replay following Saturday's 1-1 draw at the Racecourse Ground.

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The winners travel to Dartford or FC Halifax Town in the quarter-finals, on February 7. And though 12th, the Heed remain handily-placed in Vanarama Premier.

They are five points below the play-off positions, with four games in hand on fifth-placed Kidderminster Harriers.

And having targeted winning both promotion and the Trophy this term, Mills said: "We're capable of succeeding this season.

"I think we can, I think we will. "That's the positive thing for me, and I just want the players to have that same belief.

"When you're halfway down the league, it's for a reason. For me, a major reason is that we've had a couple of games called off (in the Trophy). If they weren't, I honestly believe we'd be in the play-off positions.

"You can over-analyze it but I think there's a good last three months of the season to come for us."

Much of Mills' optimism hails from a profound and unstinting faith in his players' ability.

But more recently it has received accentuation from an upturn in form.

Despite serene progress in knockout contests until a 7-0 FA Cup defeat at West Brom, before then the Heed had won only one league game in eight, and four in 17.

They had just eight clean sheets all season.

But since the Hawthorns, they are unbeaten in five across all competitions, with two wins and three clean sheets.

And yet it is not their Cup exit to which Mills points as a possible turning point in the campaign, but last Wednesday's Trophy second-round replay win at home to Grimsby Town - who equalised late on, before being beaten during extra-time with 10 men, third substitute Lenell John-Lewis having been forced off with an injury. …

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