Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I'm like a Man Possessed and My Bosses Always Try to Fire Me Up during the Game

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I'm like a Man Possessed and My Bosses Always Try to Fire Me Up during the Game

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Bowron jnl.sport@trinitymirror.com

GATESHEAD midfield man Gus Mafuta admits he plays better when angry, and is delighted to be back in the side.

The 21-year-old midfield power house joined Gateshead from Bristol City in the summer of 2015 on a short-term deal.

That was extended until the end of the season and the Londoner surprisingly turned down a two-year contract last summer.

He instead signed for one year and recently ended a long period out of the side with a return to the starting line-up against King's Lynn.

He was back on the bench for the draw with Braintree Town but started in the goalless stalemate at Barrow on Boxing Day.

With loanee Russell Penn back at parent club Carlisle United Mafuta will again be in the engine room for Saturday's rematch with Barrow.

Next year will be a big one for the combative schemer as well as the club. "It's been very frustrating being out of the side and it's the longest period I've been on the sidelines under the gaffer. I've knocked on his door a couple of times and he told me straight that I hadn't played to the level I'm capable of that.

"One reserve appearance in two months wasn't ideal for me but I did extra fitness work to keep up to speed. I always believed a recall would come. I must now make the most of it. The manager never lost faith in me and I have to repay that faith. There is more strength and depth in the squad this season, with a lot of good players and competition for places.

"I definitely play better when I'm angry. I'm like a man possessed and the management are always trying to fire me up, before and during the game."

James Bolton is on a three-year contract at Gateshead, former Wrexham defenders Manny Smith and Jamal Fyfield on two-year deals.

Strikers Danny Johnson, Sam Jones and Nyal Bell, along with winger Adam Wrightson, are the others in the first of two-year deals at the International Stadium. …

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