Gary Mills hands Gateshead FC a huge vote of confidence

Gary Mills has handed Gateshead a huge vote of confidence by rejecting Forest Green Rovers' approach

Gateshead FC manager Gary Mills
Gateshead FC manager Gary Mills

Gary Mills would have walked out on Gateshead after eight days for the right opportunity. That he did not is a huge vote of confidence in the Conference club.

With eight wins in his first 11 matches, the 51-year-old former European Cup winner has already built a feel-good factor at the International Stadium.

The Tynesiders did their best to keep it going by calling a Press conference yesterday to announce nothing. Mills is going nowhere.

With his whole-hearted approval Gateshead have turned down an approach from the division’s big spenders, Forest Green Rovers.

Mills has been in the job less than eight weeks, but insists that did not colour his thinking.

“It wouldn’t make any difference if I’d been here eight weeks or eight days,” he said. “If I felt it was the right thing to do, I would have gone.

“You never know in this game if you’re going to be there or not based on results and your relationships at a football club. It’s gone great here because we’ve worked hard and tried to change things on and off the field.

“It’s my profession, I want to do well, I’m ambitious. I’ve not just come here to get a job.”

Having been part of a Nottingham Forest side which retained the European Cup in 1980 despite being by no means one of the Continent’s richest clubs, he is confident Gateshead can compete on the field with the likes of Forest Green.

“Forest Green is a club with financial backing probably better than some League One and Two sides but it’s not always about that,” Mills stressed. “I want to make this club a success.

“Not for one second in my decision-making was there anything negative about this football club. It’s a fantastic area, a fantastic football club, we’ve got everything here to succeed. I’ve got some good players and we want to go places.” Despite finding himself in demand and instantly increasing his already high popularity with Gateshead’s fans, Mills had a difficult week.

“We know the type of money Forest Green are trying to throw at it to get out of this league,” he said.

“Forest Green are the Crawley, the Fleetwood of the last few seasons but I’m happy here. I’ve expressed to the chairman how happy I am and what I want to do.

“I want to do the job I’ve come to do and get this football club where the chairman wants to get them.

“It’s not been a nice few days. When a club shows an interest in you it’s flattering. We all know what Forest Green are looking to do in the next few seasons. But I’ve come here to do a job.

“The chairman got me (to join) a few weeks ago. I spent time up here to make sure it was right for me and that hasn’t changed. I feel between us we can achieve what we want to.

“Everybody makes decisions in life and I see no reason to go from here because it does feel right to me.

“I’ve moved up to the area and I really like it here.”

Gateshead chairman Graham Wood admitted he was worried when he first heard of Forest Green’s interest, but he has been delighted by Mills’ quick response.

“I’ve had a couple of sleepless nights recently,” he said. “Forest Green’s interest was the nightmare scenario. I can understand why they were interested in Gary but I wasn’t particularly appreciative of it. I don’t think it’s necessarily right to approach someone already in work when there are some good managers out of work.

“Having said that I don’t want to be hypocritical because I might have done it myself in different circumstances.”

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