Gary Mills has challenged his Gateshead side to sustain their “promotion form” over the rest of the season.
The Tynesiders travel to Luton Town today ninth in Skrill Premier, nine points behind the second-placed Hatters with a game in hand.
Though out now of the FA Cup and Trophy, they have won 10 of the 15 league games Mills has overseen since replacing Anth Smith.
And from their last 12, the Tynesiders have won nine and drawn one – collecting 28 points from a possible 36.
That form has not surprised Mills.
But the Gateshead boss is keen to see his team come through a hectic Christmas period in similar fashion – starting at Kenilworth Road.
“I hope the players relish this fixture,” he said.
“I certainly do. I’ve been there a few times in the last few seasons and, apart from one occasion, come out on top.
“Hopefully I can go down there and do it again on Saturday with Gateshead.
“I know Gateshead have picked up results down there as well in recent years.
“It is a tough place to go, they’re absolutely flying at the moment.
“But so are we. I look at the last 12 games, we’ve taken 28 points from a possible 36, and that’s promotion form.
“You look at the next 12, and if we do anything like that, it’ll be excellent.”
Mills added: “The league’s the sole focus for the season now.
“The good thing is that we’ve given ourselves a good chance going into the new year to get into that top five.
“We’re looking forward to the whole Christmas period, and hopefully being, if not in a similar position, then higher up the league come the turn of the year.”
Though Mills will be without James Brown, while Jamie Chandler is a doubt, midfielder Phil Turnbull is expected to make his 300th appearance for Gateshead.
The 26-year-old started his career at Hartlepool United, joining York City before arriving at the International Stadium in 2008.
And Mills said: “He’s been loyal to Gateshead, he obviously enjoys it here.
“I enjoy working with him, you know. He’s my type of player, he certainly suits the way I like my teams to play.
“He’s an excellent pro, he doesn’t miss training, he doesn’t miss games. Nothing affects him.
“He’s a bit old school in that respect, he just gets on with things. But number one, he’s a good player.”