AFTER the mauling at Luton, Ian Bogie has challenged his Gateshead side to demonstrate their top-six credentials by bouncing back in style at home to Southport tonight.
The Tynesiders were beaten 5-1 by the Hatters on Saturday, leaving them fifth in Blue Square Bet Premier.
However, with expectations high after the start the club have made to the season, even that has not quelled Bogie’s hunger to remain in the league’s hunting pack.
He said: “I have no complaints with Saturday’s result because the goals we conceded were absolutely comical.
“It was a bit of a mauling and we all came away disappointed, but football is about responding and we have to respond in a positive fashion.
“We have to come back now in a game at home against probably the form team in this league and a bit of a surprise package.
“Southport have had a fantastic run, probably starting after we played them.
“We won at their place, and it was a comfortable win.
“Liam Watson has turned things around massively there, he has brought in two loan players and they have had a massive change in fortune.
“They are competing at the top end of the table now, and are not too far behind us.
“They have had fantastic results, like Tuesday night against York City, with 10 men for a long period after having a player sent off, and at Mansfield Town on Saturday.
“That is testament to their work ethic and the way they are playing.
“They are playing with confidence so it will be a tough game.”
Bogie added: “We were nailed by Wrexham at home with a poor performance but bounced back against Ebbsfleet United and I expect the same on Tuesday night.
“We harbour aspirations of being in the top six and I believe we can finish in the top six.
“We have played the so-called big-hitters in Kidderminster Harriers, Mansfield Town, York City, Wrexham and now Luton.
“We need more, there is no doubt about that, but I have seen enough, even on Saturday, to believe we can be among the top six at the end of the season.
“We are still finding our way, but we are a full-time outfit now, we have come long way and we are improving.
“We will bounce back, Saturday is in the history books now. I look forward to Tuesday and seeing a massive response and I expect a win. Nothing less.”