Gateshead FC are good enough to reach the play-offs, insists Mills

Gary Mills believes his Gateshead side is more than capable of reaching the play-offs

Gateshead FC manager Gary Mills
Gateshead FC manager Gary Mills

Gary Mills believes his Gateshead side is more than capable of reaching the play-offs.

Mills has overseen a dramatic transformation since taking over as manager in September, when the Tynesiders were struggling near the foot of the Skrill Conference Premier table.

However, a run of four successive league victories in October brought his team to within two points of the play-off places before a goalless draw against automatic promotion candidates Luton Town 10 days ago saw that gap increase to four points.

Mills’ men could make some of that lost ground up tonight, however, as they travel to the Racecourse Ground to take on 17th-placed Wrexham.

“Do I think we’re capable of reaching the play-offs? Absolutely,” Mills insisted.

“We are not a club who will be content with a top-ten finish, we ware looking at the top five.

“We had a terrific run of results in October which left us just a two points away from the play-offs before we picked up a draw against a very good Luton side.

“We are unbeaten in five games in the league and unbeaten in eight in all competitions and it is important we keep this momentum going by bringing points home from Wrexham.”

Tonight’s game could turn out to be a dress-rehearsal for the second round of the FA Cup, if Gateshead see off League Two Oxford United at the second attempt.

Only a last-minute equaliser from the Us denied Gateshead victory at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday and, following yesterday’s second-round draw, the winners of the replay know they will face a trip to the Racecourse Ground.

Mills added: “If you look at it that way it could be a dress rehearsal.

“To be honest I’m not even thinking about the replay against Oxford yet, never mind the next round.

“We have six points to play for before Oxford come to the International Stadium and it’s those games against Wrexham tonight and Salisbury City on Saturday which take priority.”

Mills be be unable to call upon striker Liam Hatch for anywhere between six and eight weeks after an X-ray revealed he broke his coccyx in Saturday’s cup game at Oxford.

Defender Luke O’Brien is still a two weeks away from returning to action after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Aside from that duo, however, Mills has an otherwise fully-fit squad at his disposal.

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