THE points tally required may have skipped up a notch or two, but Ian Bogie remains quietly hopeful his Gateshead side can reach the play-offs.
The Tynesiders stand ninth in Blue Square Bet Premier, three points below the crucial top-five spots ahead of today’s game at Newport County.
Bogie has long challenged his players to aim for 80 points if they are to make this season’s play-offs, a “great return”. He now believes it may take a couple more.
And though Newport lie just above the relegation zone, the Heed boss has warned his team not to take the Welsh outfit lightly.
“We’ve said all season that 80 points would get us into the play-offs, and it might take 81, 82 now,” said Bogie. “That would be a great return for the season for a club like this, and great progress.
“But it’s still a long way to go and we’ve got to be wary of Newport.
“They’ve got themselves to the FA Trophy final, which is fantastic for them and we hope they’ve got one eye on that.
“But I’d imagine, with Justin Edinburgh being an experienced manager at this level, he’ll have his full focus on our game.
“They’ll see their home games as winnable to achieve their target of staying in this league.”
What is more, though Yemi Odubade is nearing a return following a broken foot, Bogie could be without James Curtis, Phil Turnbull and James Marwood.
“The injury front’s not great going down there,” Bogie said. “James Curtis picked up a foot injury in training on Wednesday, so we’ll see how he is.
“Phil Turnbull is still struggling with a tendon problem in his foot. He’s been out for the last couple of games and he’s not making great improvement.
“James Marwood picked up a slight groin strain playing for the reserves (in a 2-0 win at Scunthorpe United on Tuesday).
“But the positive thing is that Yemi will hopefully be back on the training pitch with us next week and may play some part in the Easter programme games against Barrow and Grimsby (Town).
“So that’ll be a big plus for us.”