Gateshead FC will not treat FA Trophy lightly

PROMOTION may be the priority, but at Gateshead it is not all.

Kris Gate in action for Gateshead FC

PROMOTION may be the priority, but at Gateshead it is not all. The Tynesiders are still handily-placed, just outside the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off positions.

However, after a fortnight without football, they turn their attention to the FA Trophy tonight for a third round tie – postponed twice – at home to Alfreton Town.

Luton Town, away, await in the quarters.

Manager Ian Bogie insists his side will not take such a “massive, massive” competition lightly.

Bogie, who has a full squad to select from, said: “It is important, the FA Trophy.

“It is a massive, massive competition for this club and, I believe, for any club at this level.

“It is an opportunity for supporters, players, staff and the chairman to go to Wembley Stadium. It is the major final in our league, that is the bottom line.

“A Conference team is not going to win the FA Cup, that is for sure.

“So it is our chance of a trip to Wembley and not one we will take lightly.

“We have always respected the competition and fielded our best possible XI on the day to win the game.

“That is what we will do as long as we are in the competition.”

Bogie has been frustrated by a fortnight without competitive action, but between returns from injury and a friendly against Newcastle United reserves admits the break has not been without its plusses.

He added: “It is a missed opportunity to get suspensions to Jamie Chandler and James Marwood out of the way. However, the break has meant we have everyone back from injury and a fully-fit squad available.

“Kris Gate has had added time on the training pitch and he had 35 minutes against Newcastle last Wednesday.

“So it helps, but ultimately we want the games on and to get the points on the table.”

He added: “The Newcastle game was a really good workout. We played indoors, and different teams in each half.

“The one we proposed to start against Alfreton last Tuesday drew 1-1 in the first half and the lads on the fringes and who have been suspended or injured played the second and won 2-1.

“So it was a 3-2 victory in total and there was a good tempo. It was a good performance. Now we need another.”

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