IAN Bogie insists Gateshead are not going to Luton Town today merely to make up the numbers.
The Hatters are third in Blue Square Bet Premier, and backed by the biggest support base in the division.
But the Tynesiders are in good form themselves, having won three and drawn one of their last four games, scoring 10 goals and claiming three clean sheets from the last three.
Bogie knows his side face a stern test, and one which will reveal to him his “real players” – but the Gateshead boss is adamant that there need be no sense of inferiority as they head to Kenilworth Road.
“We’re in good form, three wins and a draw in the last four games, and three consecutive clean sheets, so we’re going to Luton in good spirits,” said Bogie, who is without Paul Heckingbottom (knee) and James Marwood (ankle).
“We’re not going to make the numbers up. Luton are a big club and the expectations there are to be in the Football League. That’s what they’ll be aiming for this season.
“We have had three tight games with Luton since they were relegated from the Football League, and played very well at Kenilworth Road last season without getting anything.
“They’re one of the fancied favourites, they’re the best-supported club in this league by a country mile and we will have to be at our very best to get anything from the game.
“We know it’s going to be difficult, and if we can get anything we’ll be delighted.
“But I’m heartened by our performances against the so-called bigger clubs in this league, the Crawley Towns and AFC Wimbledons, both of whom we were unlucky to lose to.”
Bogie has added Andy Ferrell to a transfer list already comprising Brian Wake, while the Tynesiders’ manager is trying to extend the month-long loan deals handed to Newcastle United stars James Tavernier and Joan Simun Edmundsson, plus Sunderland youngster Michael Liddle.
“We beat Luton at home. I know Richard Money has said that it was their poorest performance of the season but I’d like to think we were particularly good that day,” Bogie added. “Sometimes you have to give your opposition credit.
“They’ll be formidable opposition on Saturday but this is what everybody at the club are involved in football for, games with six or seven thousand on the gate, a great atmosphere and a good pitch.
“This is what it’s all about, and we’ll see who the real players are.”